Here at Duncan Family Farms® our motto is Taking Care of the Land. Taking Care of People., and we believe in order to provide our customers with the very best produce we must be in touch with the community. This mindset guides all of our decisions.
We hire people that we believe will constantly work to bring our company and the community together. All of our employees are engaged both here, at work, and at home in supporting community initiatives. We have diligently designed our farm to enhance and embrace the communities that surround us.
We want Duncan Family Farms® to work hand in hand with our community neighbors. Our community initiatives range from our Green Waste Program to Steps of Love, Farm to School, Statewide Gleaning Project to our Duncan Family Farms® Youth Program.
All of these initiatives are very close to our hearts and we hope that our involvement and interaction with the community will only strengthen over time.
Green Waste Program
After numerous requests from local municipalities and businesses to take on Green Waste material, we created a location where this material could be dropped off and put to good use. Initiated in 2013, the site is outfitted with a scale and a receiving office and is able to take on landscape material whether chipped or in bulk. A horizontal grinder is used to grind up the material into smaller portions that can then be blended with raw animal manures to begin production of a high quality compost. The goal of the Green Waste site is to divert as much material from landfills as possible and recycle it to help create the natural fertilizer that is used in our vegetable production.
Farm to School
We have a longstanding commitment to educate our children about where our food comes from and the benefits of eating healthy. Our involvement spans over 25 years, from our early days as an educational based Agritourism farm, to today’s active support of Farm to School programs. In 2015 and beyond, we will focus our efforts on getting healthy, local, farm fresh produce onto children’s plates in our schools and act as an Advisory Council Member to the State of Arizona Farm to School program.
Farm to School is a nationwide initiative based on connecting local farmers and schools in an effort to enhance school food.
“Everything is right about farm to school: healthy fresh food, enhanced economic opportunity for farmers, and education for children about where food comes from. That’s a trifecta!”Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, U.S.
Department of Agriculture (April 2009-March 2013)
Statewide Gleaning Project
Giving back to the Community by Supporting Arizona Food
Banks: Our farm has been a long-time supporter of the Association of Arizona Food Banks, and helping to feed hungry families has always been an important mission at Duncan Family Farms®. In 1993 Arnott Duncan helped to establish the Statewide Gleaning project, an innovative program where inmate labor is used to ‘glean’ fresh produce from the farm’s fields. Gleaned produce is then donated to Arizona Food Banks. Through this unique program, the farm has been able to donate approximately one million pounds of produce to Arizona Food Banks each season, for a total of more than 15 million pounds to date. The program has also become a national model and has been replicated in other farming areas around the state and country.
Partners To Which We Donate Food:
Duncan Family Farms® Youth Career Pathways Program
DFF Youth Career Pathways program is an HR benefit introduced in 2015, available to all employees; a resource for dependents and extended family in grades 7th-12th, living in the same household.
We believe in building stronger communities where we work, through educational support with three goals in mind:
Goal #1: Successful completion of high school with a diploma
Goal #2: Alleviate financial stress through scholarships
Goal #3: Transition into desired track
Our youth program provides each student access to professional level assessments to help identify a career track, one-on-one academic coaching, foreign language resources, service projects with local and international organizations, and gap-scholarships to alleviate financial stress of academic costs and to encourage the participation in leadership programs.
Steps of Love
Steps of Love is a U.S. based nonprofit with a mission to help youth in Mexico break the cycle of poverty by facilitating access to opportunities for a quality education. Steps of Love partners with a Mexican civil association, that focuses on supporting young people whose families lack the resources to send them to school and ensure they succeed academically.