Mandy’s Farm Responds to COVID-19 Crisis

Mandy’s Farm has worked extensively to adapt to the changing landscape in New Mexico during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In compliance with the New Mexico Department of Health’s guidance, Mandy’s Farm has suspended all programming conducted in large group settings.

All residential services, through which we support individuals with disabilities in their homes, have been deemed essential by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham, and are operating under extensive procedural changes advised by the Department of Health in order to ensure the health and safety of all residents and direct caregivers. All visitors, including immediate family, are prohibited from visiting residential settings at this time, but have been provided with support in connecting online via FaceTime, Zoom, and other video chat services. Appropriate health care providers and direct care staff are able to continue to provide services within the homes with the implementation of start-of-shift temperature checks, use of masks throughout each shift, and strict hygiene/ disinfection procedures.

All Mandy’s Farm on-site volunteer opportunities have been suspended until further notice. Limited remote volunteer work is occurring on a case-by-case basis.

Adaptive horseback riding and other animal husbandry opportunities at Mandy’s Farm have been suspended until further notice. All animals are being monitored and cared for on a daily basis by designated staff members.

VAMOS programming has successfully shifted to an online platform, with the temporary elimination of all community-based internships. All spring participants are expected to successfully graduate, and planning has already begun to allow for remote programming throughout for the summer cohort.

AgrAbility programming is now occurring remotely within apprentices’ homes, with technical assistance provided online and via phone by our AgrAbility Specialist. Food growing, also deemed essential by the Governor, has become a significant priority in order to ensure that all of the individuals we support have access to locally grown, low or no cost food. We are hopeful that we will produce more than we need, which will allow us to share our produce with other nonprofits and community members.

Employment services have been adapted, suspended, or increased based on the needs of our local employers. We continue to work to ensure that the individuals we support of given equitable access to jobs in the community at minimum wage or higher.

Service recipients, family members, donors, and community members with questions regarding any program changes, or ways to help, should reach out to our Development Director, Jessie Calero, at jessie@mandysfarm.org for more information.


Mandy’s Farm Celebrates 20 Years of Service in 2020

Mandy’s Farm, having opened its doors in the year 2000, is thrilled to have reached our 20 year anniversary, and will be celebrating this organizational milestone at our Annual Kentucky Derby Party on May 2, 2020.

“Our programs have only increased in relevance, accessibility, and impact since our services launched two decades ago,” says Development Director, Jessie Calero. “We now support over 200 individuals and their families each month, and consistently find that the community need for the type of programming we provide outstrips our capacity. As we continue to grow, we hope to reach those who are still in need of Mandy’s Farm services, and anticipate a continued focus on access, excellence, and inclusion. We are so excited for what the next 20 years will bring.”

As part of a celebratory donation drive, Mandy’s Farm is working to obtain 20 donations, multi-year pledges, or planned gifts in the amount of $20,000. Ms. Calero shared that “through this 20th anniversary campaign, Mandy’s Farm will create an emergency fund that will allow us to address critical funding gaps as they arise, ensure that emergency maintenance issues can be quickly resolved, and provide piece of mind to families and individuals who rely on our programs. We want this campaign to be accessible to anyone who supports our mission, so we are also asking community members to also consider providing gifts in the amount of $20, $200 or $2,000. No matter your budget, we want anyone in the community to feel like they can be a member of the Mandy’s Farm family.”


New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism Continues to Support VAMOS

The New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism has initiated its third year of VAMOS funding at Mandy’s Farm. Known for its administration of the AmeriCorps program in New Mexico, NMCCV focuses on building economic opportunity for community members, as well as providing national service opportunities that provide meaningful pathways to successful careers for our nation’s residents. Mandy’s Farm initially collaborated with NMCCV through their planning grant program, through which the VAMOS program was born. Now in their second year of funding VAMOS operations, NMCCV has become an essential partner in carrying out the goals of the VAMOS Program.


BBVA Compass Bank Supports VAMOS for Second Year

Mandy’s Farm is grateful to BBVA Compass Bank for renewing its support of the VAMOS Program. BBVA has provided grant funds to the VAMOS program since its inception in 2017. Funding will be used to create paid internships for all VAMOS participants. This provides each student with the opportunity to expand their on-the-job experience, build their resume, and receive a paycheck (often for the first time in their lives). Thank you, BBVA Compass Bank!


PNM Reduce Your Use Recognizes Mandy’s Farm

Mandy’s Farm was recently selected as a funding recipient through the PNM Reduce Your Use program. Through a $4,000 grant provided by the PNM Foundation, Mandy’s Farm will be able to install solar lighting throughout outdoor areas of the Farm, as well as replace all indoor lighting with energy-efficient fixtures. Mandy’s Farm looks forward to reducing reliance on non-renewable energy as our programs expand.


Wells Fargo Doubles Down on the VAMOS Program

Wells Fargo recently doubled its investment in the Mandy’s Farm VAMOS Program, providing $10,000 for the program. Reaching individuals with disabilities who are living without adult services, the VAMOS Program provides intensive job-training, paid internship opportunities, benefits navigation services, and so much more to its students. VAMOS graduates have successfully transitioned to community employment at minimum wage or higher, returned to school to obtain the diploma, or have moved onto higher education. We are so grateful for Wells Fargo’s decision to support our work, increasing opportunities for young people in our community.



Mandy’s Farm Receives Albuquerque Community Foundation Grant

Mandy’s Farm was recently awarded a grant from the Albuquerque Community Foundation in support of the AgrAbility Program. Funding was provided as part of the Foundation’s Environmental and Historic Preservation grants program, an area-of-interest focused on environmental and agricultural economy. Funding will support accessibility in the Mandy’s Farm agriculture spaces, increasing use of vertical gardening and environmentally friendly and wheelchair-accessible paving materials. As a result of the grant, Mandy’s Farm will be able to increase annual yields, as well as provide an opportunity for individuals of all abilities to participate in environmentally sound agriculture opportunities.


Financial Institutions Invest in Mandy’s Farm

Mandy’s Farm is pleased to have received support from the Nusenda Credit Union Foundation, BBVA Compass Bank, and Wells Fargo to assist in the delivery of the VAMOS Program. Designed to assist individuals with disabilities who are living without adult services, the VAMOS Program provides vocational training, information about post-secondary education, referrals for adult services, financial literacy classes, and a 40-hour customized internship within a local business or nonprofit.


New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism

The New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism has chosen to invest in the creation of an AmeriCorps program at Mandy’s Farm. Designed through an NMCCV Planning Grant, the Mandy’s Farm VAMOS Program is crafted to meet the needs of vulnerable individuals with disabilities who are living without adult services. The VAMOS Program provides eight weeks of intensive support to transitioning teenagers and adults who are navigating life after high school, as well as follow-along support following program graduation.