DYGUP/Sustain is a readiness program where we use Regenerative Organic Agricultural practices to teach the benefits of land stewardship, and help prepare participants develop the skills and experience to become professional producers.

DYGUP is an acronym for Developing Youth from the Ground Up and is available to youth ages 14 through 17. The DYGUP program is a 12 week 72 hour program which integrates intensive farmer training with the Roots of Success Environmental Literacy Curriculum. Roots of Success is an empowering environmental literacy and job readiness curriculum that helps young people increase their academic and professional skills, prepare for college and careers, and become leaders who can improve conditions in their communities. The curriculum is aligned to Common Core English Language Arts College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards and includes comprehensive lesson plans, rubrics, and assessments that help teachers and students meet Common Core standards and competencies. The curriculum is used in high schools, alternatives schools, CTE high schools, green academies, and juvenile facilities; as well as YouthBuilds, Conservation Corps, Civic Corps, AmeriCorps, job training programs, and community colleges.

Las Cruces High School Environmental Science class.

Las Cruces High School Environmental Science class.

Roots of Success can be used with all students but is was designed for youth who are struggling in school, below grade level, at risk of dropping out, and/or who have experienced an interruption in their education. The vast majority (98%) of students who go through the class come from families whose incomes are below the poverty line; most have low levels of literacy, on average 4th grade math and 7th grade reading skills. The pedagogical approach and teaching materials are designed to get students excited about learning and keep them coming back to class. The focus is on student success, building on student’s prior knowledge and experiences, making learning relevant, and connecting education to employment. Students finish the course with increased motivation, confidence, and inspired to be life-long learners.

Sustain is a 36 hour program for adults 18 and over which combines the Roots Of Success Environmental Literacy Curriculum with intensive farmer training followed by an assignment to an incubator plot where trainees develop their business opportunities with continued support and assistance from the Taylor Hood Farms team.  For more information contact us at info@taylorhoodfarms.com