2022-2025 Strategic Goals
Following a year-long planning process and the devastating farmhouse fire in 2021, we are moving boldly towards a new vision for the organization. With our new vision, we will:
Grow & Diversify the Team
Just as biodiversity is essential to the health of our ecosystems, a rich diversity of board members, staff, and volunteers is foundational to the health of our organization. Beyond the mosaic of experiences, talents, and personalities that new team members will bring, having a strong work force positions the Horn Farm Center for greater impact.
Our goal is to cultivate abundance and build a resilient, adaptive organizational system that is both sustainable and regenerative.
Improve & Expand Facilities
Even before the fire, our needs for more office and classroom space were significant. We assumed that expanding our facilities would take several years, but sometimes lightning strikes and changes everything.
Now, as we restore and improve the functionality of our historic farmhouse, we continue to explore new opportunities to expand.
Our goal is to grow as sustainably as possible while making space for new team members, community events, and educational programs. We aspire to build some of the greenest buildings in the region, including net positive energy and water as defined by the Living Building Challenge.
Transition to Perennial Agroforestry
The USDA identifies agroforestry as a targeted area of growth in the agricultural industry. The Horn Farm Center has positioned itself at the forefront of this movement in the United States.
By 2023, a total of 16 acres of Multifunctional Riparian Buffers will provide food, fuel, building materials, and wildlife habitat on the farm. In the next two years, we will launch a new Food Forest Demonstration Project, aimed at modeling what the average homeowner can produce in a ¼ acre backyard. In the longterm, we envision broad scale silvopasture systems that integrate productive trees and grazing livestock on the farm.
By changing the way we farm, we can restore the health of our soil, water, and woods while providing for the food needs of our community in the face of climate change.
Become Completely Carbon Neutral
Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is not only beneficial for our financial sustainability and growth, it is also our responsibility to nature and the well-being of generations to come. Whether we are expanding our facilities, designing on-farm experiences, or acquiring new infrastructure, the Horn Farm Center is committed to eliminating our fossil fuel use on the farm.
Train 150 New Land Stewards by 2025
We believe in the power of education. Since our founding, the Horn Farm Center has equipped over 70 aspiring farmers and land stewards with hands-on training. Our signature Training Programs teach the next generation of land steward applicable skills that the world needs to reverse climate change, restore broken ecosystems, rebuild lost wildlife habitat, and reconnect people with their sense of place in nature.
Cultivate a Community of Learning
The skills we teach at the Horn Farm Center are puzzle pieces for a future where we live and work in partnership with nature. Community is the glue for this bigger picture.
Studies show that community catalyzes deep learning. Our goal is to cultivate a regenerative community of learners and practitioners at the Horn Farm Center. We envision a place where students, land stewards, and ecological practitioners can learn, share, and develop their interests and skills together.
Become a Bio-Regional Destination
Centrally located in the heart of the Susquehanna bio-region, the Horn Farm Center is uniquely positioned to serve as a hub for outdoor recreation, agro-tourism, and eco-tourism in York County. Our goal is to become a bio-regional destination for transformative experiences, ecological learning, and earth-focused skill-building.
Expand Our Reach
For the Horn Farm Center and its programs to thrive, it is essential that we market the organization effectively, building understanding of the work we do and educating along the way.
Our goal is to expand our reach by 25% by 2024, establishing a unique brand, educational content, and communications plan. More and more, we will work beyond our property limits, finding ways to bring regenerative land stewardship to our community.
Create Regenerative Systems & Increase Capacity
The Horn Farm Center was founded as a community-led organization. Since its incorporation in 2004, the organization has gone from concept to impact, evolving from volunteer-driven projects to 6 paid staff that serve over 1600 visitors each year.
We have made incredible progress in a few short years, despite our small size and accompanying limitations. What we lacked in resources, we made up for in our passion, enthusiasm, and people power. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know that we have reached a turning point. We need a more regenerative approach.
Our goal is to cultivate a more mature, refined, and resilient organization – one that is capable of handling growth. The Horn Farm Center must position itself to increase its administrative activities; manage a growing staff, board, donor, and volunteer base; meet an increasing demand for programming; make a deeper impact on the land; and continue to weather change and disruptions in a growing sector.
Rooted in Relationships & Values
It’s an odd juxtaposition: smiling faces in front of a fire-ravaged building. But there is a secret to our joy. Since our founding, the Horn Farm Center has survived and thrived because of our community. Our faces reveal the hope, perseverance, and resilience of our story.
The people in this photo are just a few of many, who have given their time, money, and sweat to the mission of the Horn Farm Center. Their commitment is not simply to the organization, but to our impactful work, our love for the land, and our collective vision of a more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
We know all of our goals can only be achieved with the help of our community, the backbone of our work. That is why our most important goal is to foster an organizational culture rooted in relationships and values.