There are several reasons why I was on a writing hiatus most of last year.
First, I did something I thought I’d never do – I enrolled in graduate school! Years of MOOC‘s has kept academia within reach but it took an affordable graduate program at Georgia Tech and the desire to become an engineer to open my eyes.
Georgia Tech offers an online Analytics program for less than $10,000. My job as a quality coordinator involved a lot of metrics and analytics as well as studying the ISO 9000 quality management system. As a result, my mind was continuously thinking about systems.
After the first semester of school, it seemed appropriate to understand the types of internships within the the system’s engineering industry. The internship search inadvertently told people I was looking for a job. I was headhunted by Kärcher North America as an applications sales engineer. I was able to negotiate a significantly better salary and was recruited to replace the product manager of the company’s water treatment unit upon his retirement. He is a guru in the industry and he is enthusiastically grooming me to replace him.
Most importantly I met Ryan.
I volunteer with our county’s Colorado State Extension Office on the Public Advisory Council as the community’s Horticultural representative. The county agents call me the hydroponic and fish guy and one day they happen to send me a serendipitous a business inquiry.
Ryan is a clinical counselor who wants to help troubled youth stay out of crime by teaching them STEM skills alongside cognitive behavioral therapy. He expressed interest in starting an Aquaponics Farm and Wellness Center several years down the road, once he learned how to farm fish and grow plants from me.
There are moments when the world seems to make sense and I boldly offered to become business partners. He didn’t hesitate but for a second and we soon combined our dreams and incorporated a nonprofit called Blooming Health Farms in April 2019. We began fundraising in September’s with plans to raise a whopping $2.5 million. We quickly realized that such a daunting task has to be done in multiple stages.
Our first campaign to raise money for our 501(c)(3) tax exempt filing and funds to construct a small Aquaponics system has earned us $750 of $5000 so far! Enough that we’re 501(c)(3) pending and are beginning to market vegetables.
Our momentum started off strong and we received a live interview on a local station called Pirate Radio. We also got an invite to record an interview with a regional media company called Townsquare Media which aired on multiple stations in Northern Colorado and is available to stream. Soon afterwards a reporter for the Greeley Tribune interviewed me but nothing was published.
This is our first foray into a major business start up and right now we are struggling to move forward. We are learning how challenging it is to make a name for ourselves and the other aspects of our life tend to compete until we figure out what we’re doing. We both started fantastic new careers, as I previously mentioned, and which adds a whole new layer to our challenges. We have been re-strategizing the past couple months and know that we must persevere. We also know that in order to build a community Aquaponics farm and wellness center, we need more help. We need help to spread the word and money to make the bigger dreams come to life.
Come check out what we’re doing at on Facebook and at http://www.BloominghealthFarms.com, if you haven’t already clicked on one of the hyperlinks I’ve thrown above. Have a look around, drop us a message, and donate to our cause. We would love any feedback and support from you!
Thank you for reading and I hope your 2020 is all you hope it to be!