January Update

This year looks to be a very busy time around the farm. We have finalized the plans and material lists for the Kids Rank Clubhouse and the multi-purpose room in the barn, as well as the Gold Star flag pole. We hope to begin construction as soon as the snow starts to recede. By the look of things it may be a while.

CPO-365 at Naval Station Great Lakes has 60 to 90 volunteers for us as soon as we can use them – they were with us last summer and did a great job!

Rob, one of our disabled veterans who cut Christmas ornaments for the V.A., has relocated to San Diego Cal. He and his wife have bought a farm and wish to start the Freedom Farm and Kids Rank of San Diego. This will be a good fit, since one of the founders of Kids Rank is stationed in San Diego. Rob experienced the farm first hand most of the summer, and he believed that this environment helped him cope with his PTSD. He felt so relaxed that he wanted to have his own farm and pass the same benefits to his fellow PTSD suffers.

We also, with heavy heart, must tell you of the passing of Steve Shaufel. He was our first board member and eventually became our first employee. Steve helped me design every aspect of the farm. As the son of a WWll veteran he had a passion for the farm. He just retired from his career as an operating engineer and wanted to continue working; our farm was the perfect fit for him. This is a hard subject for me to talk about, as we were friends for 30 years and worked together daily for the last 3 years. We are all still in a state of shock! R.I.P. Steve!

John Ress

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