A Dream and a New Dairy Farm in Armenia
May 2021 Newsletter – Note from Jeff: Joseph understood that God placed him where he was for a reason. As I write I am in Armenia. We just signed papers to purchase the 17-acre dairy farm. I started this trip not knowing whether we would be successful or not. Thank you for your prayers and support for this project.
13 Years Ago in Armenia
13 years ago we had our first camp for teenagers on a small 2 acre private farm. We used their buildings, pitched a few tents, and it rained five out of seven days. We even had a cow milking contest. Sitting on a rickety, three-legged stool, I fell back in the mud and completely failed to get any milk out of the cow. The kids struggled too, but they were more agile and avoided the mud. My team lost and the kids forgave me.
During the camp we ran an extension cord to a rusted storage shed. Zaven, our longtime Armenian staff volunteer from Finland, taught English in the shed as the kids huddled around a folding table to stay dry. A cow however, would wander by almost everyday and interrupt the afternoon class. Actually, I am not sure if anyone learned English that year but we did have a lot of fun. Nobody got electrocuted. The cows surrendered their milk to the experts, and we Americans have fond memories of the mud. For some reason, everyone dreamed and asked if we would come back. A dream was fulfilled and an annual tradition began.
The Sustainability of a Dairy Farm
This region was destroyed in the 1988 earthquake and financially has never quite recovered. The closure of factories and high unemployment forces most men to look for work in Russia. It is the poorest region in Armenia.
We just finalized the purchase of the farm, and I had never dreamed that we would do a project like this. However, I love the idea of how the farm can provide both jobs and profits, which shall support future camps.
Name Your Own Cow at the Farm
The real work now begins, but we are excited to bring hope, jobs, and God’s love to people’s lives. Our team on the ground is researching the best type of cows for this climate and location. The cost of one cow is on average about $1500 each. The original plan approved by the government is a farm with 42 cows.
A $1500 donation provides naming a cow according to your instructions! Would you like to name a cow and support the farm?
An additional $37,000 in startup costs is needed for equipment, fencing, construction, feed, etc. We anticipate about $100,000 will be needed.
We will keep you posted. Thank you for praying for this project. To support the dairy farm, just write “Armenia” on checkout.