Animals for Life Foundation awards 2012 grants to improve human-animal bond

The Animals for Life Foundation (AFL) has approved more than $47,000 in grants for fiscal year 2012 projects that will help improve the human-animal bond, including equestrian and service dog programs to aid people living with disabilities along with a farm animal handling program for first responders.

“These programs help to further understanding of the mutual benefits between animals and humans in many ways, such as companionship, therapy, nourishment and recreation,” said David White, executive director of the Animals for Life Foundation. “We’re proud to further our mission by helping these organizations accomplish their goals at the same time.”

This year, Animals for Life awards grant funding to the following projects:

All About Horses

Valley Oaks Farm, LLC, Shreve, Ohio

This course offers education, demonstrations and interactive experiences with horses to people who would normally not have ready access to these animals. Two awareness events will familiarize groups with horses through introductory clinics; these groups include Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts, home school organizations, church youth groups and American Heritage Girls.

A Spoonful of Connections, A Dose of Dairy Reality and A Scoop of Ice Cream

Ayars Family Farm, Mechanicsburg, Ohio

The Ayars family invites guests of all generations to get a glimpse of how humans benefit from dairy cows and the care involved in farming them. The farm’s new event center allows for organized tours featuring demonstrations and learning stations as well as an interactive kitchen area. The AFL grant will fund several promotional expenses, three hand sanitizing stations and a new portable educational kitchen island.

Equine Assisted Therapy Program Support

Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc., Centerburg, Ohio

Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc. aims to provide people who live with disabilities with a mutually-beneficial experience by offering innovative equestrian activities to improve quality of life. This grant funding will aid in general operating expenses such as horse care and facility maintenance.

Geauga County Harvest Dinner

Geauga County Farm Bureau, Orwell, Ohio

This dining experience welcomes invitees to enjoy a seven-course meal created by local farmers and chefs. Attendees who are unfamiliar with agricultural practices will be introduced to the local farmers who help provide the meal in an effort to illustrate the role animals and farmers play in modern cuisine.

Animal Ag 203: Hands On Livestock Handling for First Responders

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Columbus, Ohio

This course will provide emergency crews with advanced, hands-on training that builds on basic knowledge of caring for farm animals in crisis situations. First responders, such as fire fighters, law enforcement officials, humane and animal control officers, will learn about farm animal flight zones, farm animal behavioral cues and body language, and personal safety issues.

Hastings Dairy Tours

Hastings Dairy Tours & Events, Burton, Ohio

Visitors will soon be able to tour this 600-milk cow dairy farm and learn about the value cows bring to our everyday lives from the comfort of a new hayride wagon. The AFL grant will go toward purchasing this equipment for narrated tours around the Hastings farm.

Hooves for Heroes

Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Mansfield, Ohio

This new program serves the families of deployed service men and women. Once a week for ten weeks, individuals or families can relieve stress and build skill sets by learn to care for and ride horses in a relaxing atmosphere. The AFL grant goes toward scholarships for those who need financial assistance to pay for the program.

Mission Pawsible

4 Paws for Ability, Xenia, Ohio

As its client base grows and demand increases, 4 Paws will welcome London Correctional Center to its Mission Pawsible Prison Training Program. Using grant funding, inmates will feed, groom and train puppies in basic obedience, commands, and search and rescue.

PUPS Education & Awareness Program

Pets Uniting People Society (P.U.P.S.), Tremont City, Ohio

With their grant from AFL, PUPS will provide an educational progress report in its publication featuring educational awareness articles about farm life and humane treatment of animals. The grant will also fund the Neuter/Spay Clinic and the trap-neuter-release efforts in various cat colony locations throughout the area.

Read to Roo

Reading Education Assistance Dogs, Graytown, Ohio

Rooney the Collie assists over 100 first grade students for four days a week. Students facing learning challenges take part in one-on-one tutoring sessions with Roo and her handler, Tina Anderson. Grant funding will go toward reward items for students, reading materials and event-based programming.

Video Terminals at the Wayne County Fair

Wayne County Farm Bureau, Wooster, Ohio

In an effort to educate Wayne County fairgoers, the Wayne County Farm Bureau will place video terminals at each of the fair’s barns. Informative videos will introduce audiences to each animal, share a farm family that raises that animal, and answer questions regarding farming practices and proper animal care.

Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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