Jones Valley Teaching Farm raises $8.3 million to build food education center

The capital campaign will increase the farm’s reach and apprenticeship opportunities

An aerial view of Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s Center for Food Education.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm has completed the Ready to Grow Capital Campaign, raising $8.3 million towards the building of the Center for Food Education.

The center, located at JVTF’s downtown Birmingham farm on 25th Street North, will provide students with a hands-on instruction site, as well as space for public culinary and growing workshops, the Good Community Food Fellowship program, and training and professional development for teachers and school administrators.

“I believe that the power of growing, cooking and sharing food can impact our community in incredible ways,” said Amanda Storey, executive director of Jones Valley Teaching Farm. “The Center for Food Education is a place to gather and teach, experience and celebrate and grow — quite literally — together as a community. I’m immensely grateful to all the partners that believed in this vision and partnered with us to make it a reality.”

Jones Valley Teaching Farm Executive Director Amanda Storey (left) with the Ready to Grow Capital Campaign co-chairs Nick Willis and Pardis Stitt.

The campaign was led by a committee co-chaired by Pardis Stitt of the Stitt Restaurant Group, which includes Bottega, Highlands Bar & Grill and Chez Fonfon; and Nick Willis, PNC regional president for North and Central Alabama.

“As co-chair of this campaign, I have had the unique honor of seeing firsthand our local foundations, donors and community members’ generosity,” said Stitt. “Their belief in Jones Valley Teaching Farm and their intentionality to see food as a foundation of our city means so very much to me personally.”

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Willis added, “Using food as a platform to educate, develop workforce readiness, provide economic opportunities and unite communities is an inspiring endeavor and one that benefits Alabama as a whole.”

A total of 174 donors invested in the Ready to Grow Capital Campaign, which raised $8.3 million, exceeding its goal of $7.7 million. The project was financed, in part, with a New Markets Tax Credit allocation provided by Hope Enterprise Corp. and by investor Wells Fargo Bank.

The center was constructed by Hoar Construction and designed by ArchitectureWorks.

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