The Animals for Life Foundation (AFL) has selected 11 projects and programs related to the human-animal bond that will be awarded grant funding during the 2013 fiscal year. This year’s AFL grant application process resulted in a record number of applicants and dollars requested.
“The record number of applicants this year just goes to show how invaluable our grant funds are to these like-minded organizations,” said David White, AFL executive director. “These recipients are unique in that they each have their own creative approach to emphasizing and strengthening the human-animal bond that aligns with the Foundation’s vision and mission.”
This year, AFL will award grants to the following projects:
– Animal Behavior, Welfare and Husbandry Career Development Event – Ohio FFA Foundation; Columbus, Ohio: Through a series of written and verbal tests and a final project, this event evaluates the knowledge of participating FFA students in the basics of understanding animals’ evolutionary biology, their biological needs, indicators of differing levels of welfare, and how to holistically evaluate different facilitates, stockpersonship and management. Grant funds will go toward awards for the winning participants and other contest expenses.
– Bittersweet Farms: Animal Care Program – Bittersweet Farms; Whitehouse, Ohio: This program gives therapeutic human-animal interaction to individuals with autism by having the residents and day program participants of Bittersweet Farms perform daily tasks related to caring for the animals on the farm. The AFL grant goes toward the Equine Assisted Therapy Workshop for direct support professionals and day program participants, 4-H speakers presenting on animal care and a trip to the Ohio State Fair.
– Bringing the Farm to the City – Stearns Homestead Farm; Parma, Ohio: Operating as the only farm left in Parma, Ohio, Stearns Homestead is committed to introducing inner-city and suburban youth to farm life, animals and agriculture. In conjunction with the Parma Homestead Hoofers Youth Group, this program enables students to visit the farm on a regular basis and care for the farm animals. Grant funding will go toward purchasing supplies to care for the animals.
– Dogs on Ohio Livestock Farms: Farmer-dog attachment, husbandry and infection control practices – The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine – Office of Sponsored Health Sciences; Columbus, Ohio: This study will help to define the human-animal bond between farmers and their dogs as well as identify the husbandry and preventive health practices that are followed to promote dog health among Ohio farmers. A survey will be conducted using a random sample of 2,000 Ohio farmers. Grant funds will go toward the cost of conducting the survey.
– Hooves for Heroes – Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center; Mansfield, Ohio: This 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 learning 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.
– Human and Animal Interactions Course Impact Assessment – The Ohio State University – Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine; Columbus, Ohio: This project will assess the value that the Human and Animal Interactions course offers to enrolled students with the end goal of positioning these individuals as leaders and proponents of the human-animal bond. A survey will be conducted among past students of the course as well as animal science students to determine how the course can be improved. Grant funds will go toward the cost of conducting the survey.
– Read to Roo – Reading Education Assistance Dogs; Graytown, Ohio: Rooney the Collie assists more than 100 first grade students for two to three days a week. Students facing learning challenges take part in one-on-one tutoring sessions with Roo and his handler, Tina Anderson. Grant funding will go toward reward items for students, reading materials and event-based programming.
– Season’s Harvest – Medina County Farm Bureau; Wooster, Ohio: This meal brings together the local farm and agriculture supporters of Medina County for a common cause at the annual Season’s Harvest dinner. Attendees are given the opportunity to interact with the farmers that will provide the food for the meal, opening the door for conversation between farmer and consumer. Proceeds from the event will benefit “Feeding Medina County” and the local “Farmers Feed Our Needs” program. The AFL grant will go toward various expenses associated with hosting the program.
– Shelby County Food Dialogues – Shelby County Farm Bureau; New Knoxville, Ohio: This program will allow the non-farm public of Shelby County to tour a dairy farm and eat a meal with local producers and other food experts on-hand to answer any consumer questions. Discussion topics will include responsible practices in agriculture and modern methods relating to animal care. Grant funds will go toward various expenses associated with hosting the program.
– Sycamore Run Farms Animal Education Center – Sycamore Run Farms, LLC; Sycamore, Ohio: This project will create an interactive and educational place for visitors of all ages to learn about different farm animals and their roles in humans’ everyday lives. The Center will include a petting zoo, display area, demonstration area and classroom. Grant funding will assist with constructing and furnishing the different areas of the Center.
– Therapy Horse Cart Path Project – Forget Me Not Horse Farm, LLC; Girard, Ohio: With the installation of a horse cart path on the Forget Me Not Horse Farm, the therapeutic riding center will be able to accommodate a more diverse disabled population, especially to those who struggle with perception. The specially-modified carriage is also wheelchair friendly. The AFL grant will cover the cost of constructing the path.
Along with awarding these grant funds, AFL will also be a Bronze Clover sponsor of the “Ohio 4-H Celebration of Youth’s Evening to Experience Ohio Wine and Foods” on Oct. 12 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus, Ohio.