Fostering Farmers will provide an opportunity for young adults aging out of the foster care system to have a safe, stable place to call home.


Fostering Farmers’ mission is to provide housing and employment on a non-profit farm to support young adults aging out of the foster care system in New Jersey, USA and help them transition to a self-sufficient, independent life.

During their residence & employment on the farm, these young adults will:

  • Receive counseling
  • Continue with school to earn their high school diploma or obtain their GED
  • Learn business skills, cooperation, critical thinking, and develop interpersonal relationships needed for successful independent living as they transition off the farm and into their adult lives  
  • Earn an income and establish a checking & savings accounts
  • Learn about budgeting and responsible spending & saving

If farming is not the correct career path for the young adults, Fostering Farmers will provide guidance to determine if college, trade school, or joining the workforce is the correct path for their future.  One of the great things about farming is it involves many professions!  Finance, marketing, project management, plumbing, soil science, mechanics, construction, and more!

Why Aged-Out Foster Youth?

  • 23,000 youth age out of foster care each year in the United States.  
  • 40-50% of former foster youth become homeless within 18 months after leaving foster care. 
  • 88% of trafficking victims were in foster care. 
  • Aged out foster youth are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD compared to US war veterans.  
  • Almost 80% of inmates in our prison systems have spent time in the foster care system. 
  • Only 27% of aged-out foster youth obtain their GED or High School diploma by age 19. 
  • Only 6% go on for a 2- or 4-year degree.
  • Former foster youth struggle with housing, education, employment, transportation, and money. 

Fostering Farmers wants to change this.

Why Agriculture?

Connecting with nature has the ability to heal.  Feeling the breeze and sunshine on your face, hearing Canada geese as they fly by, and having bare feet in the grass allows humans to center themselves and be present.  Farming is a way of connecting with nature on a deeper and more consistent schedule.  Digging in soil releases Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium found in soil, which has been found to trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter directly related to mood.  In short, playing in the dirt can increase your happiness!  

In short, playing in the dirt can increase your happiness!  

According to Mindy L. Walls’ 2015 thesis “Farm Work As Treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,” almost all of the 39 farmers found farming to be beneficial for managing their PTSD.  Walls continues to state that “Farming necessitates present-orientedness; having responsibility toward others, whether animals, individuals, or community; having the autonomy to create a safe environment, sometimes including solitude; and feeling connected with nature.”  

Fostering Farmers knows these findings are relevant on our farm as well.  We cultivate a deep sense of community while working on the farm as well as off farm activities, such as cooking meals and providing support while planning for the future.  While success in farming is dependent on teamwork, there are also many opportunities for one person jobs which will grow self esteem and confidence.  One of the goals of Fostering Farmers is actually two-fold; for our farmers to leave the program learning how to develop a healthy trust and dependence on others as well as develop a healthier way of being self-reliant.


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    Email: FosteringFarmers@gmail.com

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