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Emily Shifflett's Fundraiser:

Postgraduate Tuition

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BENEFITING:

Emily Shifflett

THE STORY:

Hello.

My name is Emily Shifflett. I am currently a student at the University of California at Davis, studying Animal Science and Management with a focus in Dairy and minoring in Agricultural Economics. I work primarily in organic, pasture based dairying.

What Is the Money for?

When I graduate in 2016, I would like to go to The School of Artisan Food. It is located at the Welbeck Estate in England. They offer an Advanced Diploma in Baking, with minors in either butchery or dairy, a module in business planning, and work placement for students.

I am aware that this sounds a bit out of left field for a dairy farmer. So let me tell you a bit about what I want to do with my life. As I said before, I work with organic, pasture-based dairying. I would like to own a small dairy with cattle, goats, and sheep that sells raw milk, cheeses, and other dairy products. However, I have come to believe firmly in the benefits of polyculture. What is polyculture? It’s the practice of growing multiple crops in the same area, reaping the benefits of all of them. That’s where the three species come in, because rotational grazing helps control parasites and allows for growth of species-specific plants as they all eat different things on pasture. In addition to these animals, my business model includes laying hens on pasture behind the dairy animals to incorporate the manure into the pastures, bees to help pollinate pastures, and produce grown aquaponically (in conjunction with fish) for compost. In the long run, I would also like to keep my male progeny in the business and start a small meat production enterprise.

So Where Does Baking Come In?

One of the hardest obstacles for young farmers is finding venues at which to sell their products. Farmers markets provide good opportunities but finding spots and establishing customers takes lots of time and can be very hard in the highly competitive and sometimes exclusionary market system here in America. In order to give myself a guaranteed connection to customers, I want to open a small café/grocery to both make money by further improving my products in the form of prepared foods, and have a place to sell my products to customers. The café would give me an opportunity to showcase my products, establish good customer relations, and educate the public about the kind of farming I do.

This Campaign

I decided to start small with this campaign, as I have 2+ years to fundraise. The money will be going directly into a bank account, where I can sit on it and earn interest until the time comes for me to pay tuition and living expenses. My total goal over time is £26,513 or $44,046.05 (as of exchange rate on 3/14/14). I am aware this is a lot of money. To supplement crowd funding, I am starting my own mini-business here at UC Davis for in house cooking lessons for students. I also have other jobs to contribute my own funds. Please stop to take a moment for this campaign. It might not be the most ambitious, nor does it have perks, but this campaign is important. There is only one way to change the broken food system in the world, and that is by funding new ideas like this one. This project is a key piece in helping create a more ecofriendly, economic, sustainable farm culture and attitude on a local level. Starting small is the only way to really change things work. There is no substitute for the perspective and experience this diploma will bring, and that will make a huge difference for my business, and therefore for my customers. I cook and I farm because food is how I show people I care. I like making people happy and food is the best way I have of doing that. This educational opportunity is my way of ensuring I can offer the highest quality of product possible. Please. Take a moment of your time to consider this.

Here is a link to the school’s page in case you wanted to learn more: www.schoolofartisanfood.org

If you’re in the Davis/Sacramento area, feel free to contact me about taking cooking lessons for yourself and your family. I would absolutely love to show you what I can do as a thank you for contributing to my dream.

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Emily is working on selecting a charity so you can support Postgraduate Tuition.