We are educators, farmers, and even aspiring chefs. We build teaching farms on school campuses and deliver food education programming in Birmingham City Schools. Our dream is for all students to have a transformative educational experience using food and farming as the platform for learning.

Our Year

The year 2016 was one of continued growth for Jones Valley Teaching Farm. We hired full-time, salaried Instructors at each of our six K–8 partner schools. This means that we now have permanent staff collaborating with teachers at every grade level and collectively delivering more than 1,000 standards-based lessons each year. We are proud to continue our strong partnership with Birmingham City Schools.

Our process is a simple one:

  • Our success is based on strong relationships with our partner schools. Learn more about the principles that drive our approach here.
  • We measure, analyze, and evaluate our work to determine our impact while providing school communities and donors a clear return on their investment.
  • Then we refine and expand our programs so that we can maximize student impact.

Our Tools

Every great teacher or skilled farmer has a toolbox they draw from that helps them do great work. To learn more about the tools of Good School Food, click below.

Within its first year of operation, Woodlawn High School Urban Farm has established a strong presence in the Woodlawn community. Under the direction of Scotty Feltman, Program Director, and Mohamed Jalloh, Farm Manager, Jones Valley Teaching Farm launched a paid student internship program for course credit resulting in more than 1,900 hours earned by the end of 2016. The internship has quickly become a vital factor in Woodlawn High School Urban Farm’s rapid success. In addition to leading our first successful growing season, students hosted three Woodlawn Connection community events attracting more than 500 attendees and acted as ambassadors for the farm.

Teaching Farm

In 2016, Jones Valley Teaching Farm hired Woodlawn High School graduate, Mohamed Jalloh, as our full-time Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Manager. In this role, he successfully managed the site’s first-ever growing season featuring carrots, kale, radishes, collards, sunflowers, and a wide variety of herbs.

Science Classes

Birmingham City School Teacher and Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Program Director, Scotty Feltman, delivered Environmental Science to 100 high school students in 2016. In his class, students used the farm behind the school as a platform for instruction and discovery as they explored soil testing, crop rotation, photosynthesis, and water testing.

Food Business

Last Fall, students sold over 1,336 pounds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers directly to teachers, neighbors, and the larger Birmingham community. In 2017, high school students will launch an on-site farm stand creating a direct access point for fresh produce within the Woodlawn community.

Growth

from 2015 to 2016
Full-Time Instructors

1

to

7

Culinary Lessons

0

to

329

Student Internship Hours

0

to

1,910

Impact

Nutrition

1,253

The number of children exposed to fresh fruits and vegetables through taste tests.

Students Impacted

4,646

The number of students across all seven partner schools.

Seeds

35,000

More than 35,000 seeds were sown for distribution to seven farm sites via the WHS Urban Farm greenhouse.

Standards-Based Learning

31 points

Of students who completed pre-/post-assessments related to nutrition lessons, there was a 31-point increase.

Social-Emotional Development

88%

After participating in after-school Farm Lab and Farmers’ Market Clubs, 88% of students said they got better at “being a leader.”

Youth Entrepreneurship

$2,920

Students sold $2,920 worth of fruits, vegetables, and flowers to their communities through student farmers’ markets.

Teaching Farms

$30,446
Revenue from Our Teaching Farms
258
Total Volunteers
13,259 lbs
Produce Harvested

We are honored to collaborate and work with a diverse community of students, teachers, administrators, parents, and partners. Here is what they have to say about Jones Valley Teaching Farm:

Dominike'

Dominike’ Bowman, Senior
Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Student Intern

JVTF: What do you hope for the Farm?


Dominike’: For one, I hope it stays here. When I come back in a couple of years, I want to be able to buy as many persimmons as I can. I just want to see the farm grow and see how it has changed because we are the first group that has had it … the first generation, I guess you could say.

Steve

Steve Coleman, Senior
Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Student Intern

JVTF: How do you think working here will influence you, and what would you say to younger students about this place?


Steve: It is going to influence me a lot of ways. I am learning how to make my own little garden, eat my own fresh fruit and vegetables, and keep my body and diet healthy. That will help me in the long run. I would tell younger students that hard work pays off.

Jerick

Jerick Hamilton, Junior
Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Student Intern

JVTF: What do you look forward to about the farm every day?


Jerick: Being completely honest, every day when I come here, I think about having fun and doing what I am supposed to do, but every day that I come out here I think about my future. Here. Like, what I want to do three years from now. I know I want to do something with Jones Valley, believe it or not.

Shun

Shundria Mack, Senior
Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Student Intern

JVTF: Tell me one thing you learned about yourself.


Shundria: I learned that I have another passion, because growing up I never thought about working on a farm or being near a farm or being interested in growing my own food. So I learned that there are a ton of other things in this world to explore, and when you have a chance to, you should take it, because it becomes a part of you.

Taylor

Taylor Witt, Senior
Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Student Intern

JVTF: What are you most proud of?


Taylor: I am most proud of how I came into this organization when I was in the 9th grade and seeing how I’ve progressed through the years by my networking skills and by my organization. Pretty much everything about my skill set has improved so much through this organization.

Zontavious

Zontavious Wilson, Senior
Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Student Intern

JVTF: What do you think the farm will mean to you in the future?


Zontavious: Like a childhood kind of memory. I know these trees are going to be way bigger, there is going to be different things out here and it is like I am going to come back and see the progress and I am going to be happy and I am also going to be sad. I am going to be sad because it is not as it once was, but I am going to be happy because they did it for progress. It’s like I am a dad. Like watching my kid grow up and soon they will change everything after I leave. I am going to engrave my name somewhere, though….

Mohamed

Mohamed Jalloh
Woodlawn High School Farm Manager

“After my graduation from Woodlawn High School in 2015, the WHS Urban Farm was one project I could not forget. I started looking back whenever I got a chance, and I would often go out of my way to drive by and see how the site was looking. It was hard and challenging to try to help improve my school and the community from the outside, but then Jones Valley Teaching Farm gave me an opportunity to come back and help enrich my school and community. Seeing the Woodlawn High School Urban Farm develop from a dream to a word and then onto becoming an actual place was an awesome experience. Now as the Farm Manager at Woodlawn High School Urban Farm, I have the opportunity to share that experience with high school students.”

Ms. Linton

Ms. Linton
Parent of Readus Linton, 8th grader at Putnam Middle

“As a result of my son’s activity with Good School Food, he has discovered an interest in gardening, learned the importance of agriculture, developed his marketing and entrepreneurial instincts, learned more about conservation, and contributed to the development of an on-site greenhouse. THANK YOU, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, for making such a huge positive impact on him. I’m certain he has learned skills that he will utilize for a lifetime.”

Llyord

Llyord Watson
Birmingham Change Fund

“One of the responsibilities of philanthropy is to be a vanguard for ideas. The partnership between Jones Valley Teaching Farm and the Birmingham Change Fund is important because cutting-edge programs have to be supported, tested, and developed in order to make the greatest impact.”

John Mark

John Mark Edwards
Phillips Academy 8th Grade Teacher

“This school year, my 8th-grade world history students spent four days at JVTF immersed in the most hands-on lesson of the agricultural revolution that I have ever witnessed. Bringing ancient world history to life for 13-year-olds is an incredible challenge, to say the least, but the Good School Food Instructors were able to turn the teaching farm into an exciting outdoor classroom where students literally used all five senses to learn about one of the most crucial changes in human history. The impact this lesson had on students could be measured in both quantitative as well as qualitative data. The experience had a strong correlation to students’ overall understanding of the content, and student reflections illustrated personal growth and enjoyment in the learning process. The potential of JVTF is great, and the relationship has been fruitful for my students, not only through our amazing agricultural revolution lesson that directly impacted my content area, but I have also seen the after-school farming opportunities and cooperative lessons with the science teacher benefit those students as well. Furthermore, I’m excited for the next great opportunity to merge JVTF with my world history class.”

Mary

Mary McGlaughlin
Community Garden Coordinator / Volunteer

“I first began volunteering at the farm in 2009, and I have been coordinating the community garden on the downtown farm since 2010. Jones Valley Teaching Farm is my favorite place in Birmingham, and it made me excited to live here since I first came in 1985. I have learned a lot about raising veggies, and I have met and enjoyed people I would never have met otherwise.”

 

F L C

Farm Lab Club Video

 

 

Expenses

TOTAL

$1.37 million

Program Services: Jones Valley Teaching Farm operates the Good School Food program as a school within a school. We invest in high-performing and thoughtful Instructors, curriculum coaches, operations directors, and program coordinators. Our school supply list includes everything from pencils to persimmons, calculators to compost, and salsa to shovels. We also invest in the program’s evaluation, overall production, curriculum development, and training, as well as teaching, farming, and cooking supplies. We know that providing our staff with the tools and resources they need will increase our impact on the students we serve. Supporting Services: Costs associated with supporting services include everything from rent and insurance to utilities and technology. Covering these costs allows us to effectively coordinate our program across seven sites and provides our staff with the resources they need to be successful. Fundraising & Development: We invest in strategic initiatives and events that increase revenue and grow our overall financial resources. We also invest in the people who run these initiatives.

Revenue

TOTAL

$1.5 million

We develop strategies within the following four funding categories in order to maintain a balanced yet growth-oriented revenue model. Foundation and Civic: In 2016, JVTF maintained strong relationships and annual partnerships with local foundation donors representing 39% of our annual revenue, which secures our position as a highly relevant and effective organization within Birmingham’s broader philanthropic network. Included in this category is the third and final installment from our anchor funder, the Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation, who committed $1 million to Jones Valley Teaching Farm over three years. Our goal is to secure a second multi-year anchor investor in 2017–2018. Federal/National/State: We were fortunate to have received funding from the Alabama State Department of Education, Appalachian Regional Commission, Newman’s Own Foundation, USDA Community Food Project, and USDA Farm to School. Over the next two years, we plan to secure a major research grant to begin a longitudinal study of our work as well as additional national foundation partners. Fundraising/Individual Giving: In 2016, JVTF continued to create unique giving experiences through high-quality, demand-driven events and fundraising initiatives. Our popular Twilight Supper event continues to sell out and represents $275,000 of money raised in this funding category. Corporations: We are fortunate to have local corporations support our work year after year whether through annual contributions or employee matching donations. Program-Generated Income: This category is represented by produce and flower sales sold at Student Farmers’ Markets, Pepper Place Farmers’ Market, Woodlawn Street Market, and our Produce Stand on the downtown farm. As we prepare to open a Farm Stand at Woodlawn High School Urban Farm in 2017, we anticipate this category to increase.

Staff

Amanda Storey – Executive Director
Amy Morgan – Education Director
Katie Davis – Farm Director
Zoe Burgess – Good School Food Director
Rita Means – Program Coordinator
Ann Laurel Latimer – Teaching Farm Resource Coordinator
Jesse Schaffer – Farm Manager
Jessica Hill – Assistant Farm Manager
Dominique Villanueva –Instructor, Avondale Elementary
Margaret Weinberg – Teaching Farm Fellow, Avondale Elementary
Tiesha Watts – Instructor, Hayes K–8
Kyle Gatlin – Teaching Farm Fellow, Hayes K–8
Meredith Dempsey – Teaching Farm Fellow, Hayes K–8

Alyssa Dalos – Instructor, Phillips Academy
Hannah Feroce – Teaching Farm Fellow, Phillips Academy
Rachel Spraos – Instructor, Glen Iris Elementary
Sydney Smith-Graham – Teaching Farm Fellow, Glen Iris Elementary
Joi Garrett – Instructor, Oliver Elementary
Anna Claire Rogers – Teaching Farm Fellow, Oliver Elementary
Leah Hillman – Instructor, Putnam Middle
Kelly Baker – Teaching Farm Fellow, Putnam Middle
Scotty Feltman – Program Director, Woodlawn High School
Mohamed Jalloh – Farm Manager, Woodlawn High School
Emily Johnson – Teaching Farm Fellow, Woodlawn High School
Alexander Thompson – Teaching Farm Fellow, All Sites
Sarah Bell – Teaching Farm Fellow, All Sites

Board

Braxton Goodrich – Timberline Investments – Chairman
Dylan Black – Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings
Brian Bucher – PNC
Robin Burgess – Community Supporter
Kate Cotton – Protective Life
Trey Echols – Highland Associates, Inc.
Candace Higginbotham – Regions Bank
Hunter Lewis — Cooking Light Magazine
Ann Marie Eskridge – Principal, Tuggle Elementary School

Mike Moss – Retired, Regions
Leroy Nix – Alabama Power
Nick Pihakis – Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ / Fresh Hospitality
Taylor Pursell – Pursell Agri-Tech, LLC
Christiana Roussel – Food Writer
Frank Stitt – Highlands Bar & Grill / Bottega / Chez Fonfon
Mashonda Taylor – Woodlawn United
Jerone Wiggins – Assistant Principal, Putnam Middle School
Caroline Yeilding – Morgan Stanley

Partners

FUNDING
Alabama Power Foundation
Alabama State Department of Education
Appalachian Regional Commission
Arlington Capital Advisors
Birmingham Audubon Society
Birmingham Change Fund
Birmingham Originals
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
C. Eugene Ireland Foundation
City of Birmingham
Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham
Crook's Family of Meridian Foundation
Daniel Foundation of Alabama
EBSCO
Estelle S. Campbell Foundation
Gather Dinner Hosts
Hattie B’s LLC
HealthSouth
Highlands Associates, Inc.
Hugh Kaul Foundation
IPC Foundation
James Rushton I Foundation
Jim ’N Nick’s Community BAR-B-Q
Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation
The Nature Conservancy
Newman’s Own Foundation
PNC
Protective Life Foundation
Regions Bank
SOW Families
Sysco of Central Alabama
Thompson Foundation
Twilight Dinner Guests
UAB Benevolent Fund
UAB Community Health Innovation Awards
USDA Farm to School
USDA Community Food Project
Wells Fargo
Whole Foods Foundation

COMMUNITY
1504 Pictures
Architecture Works
Alabama Chanin
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries
Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network
Birmingham City Schools
Birmingham Education Foundation
Birmingham Planning and Zoning
Cary Norton Photography
City of Birmingham
Cooking Light
Community Food Bank of Central Alabama
Corporation for National & Community Service
Craneworks
Culinary Education Advisory Board
Edible Schoolyard
End Child Hunger in Alabama
Farm Food Collaborative
Farm to School Collaborative
Fatback Collective
Father Nature Landscaping
Hanna’s Garden Shop
Jefferson County Collaborative For Health Equity
Jefferson County Health Action Partnership
Johnny’s Seeds
Jim ‘N Nick’s Community BBQ
Nourish Foods
Leaf N Petal
Oak Ridge Park Neighborhood Association
The Market at Pepper Place
Petals from the Past
REV Birmingham
Shipt
The Nature Conservancy
Time Inc. Food Studios
UAB School of Education
UAB School of Preventative Medicine
UAB School of Public Health
UAB Teach
WE Community Cafe/ Gardens
Whole Foods
Wood Fruitticher
Woodlawn Business Association
Woodlawn Foundation
Woodlawn United
Yellowhammer Creative