MSU Tollgate 2020 Year in Review: Projects, Programs, and Accomplishments

  • Successful Maple Tapping and Pancake Feast 
  • Maple Sugaring Production: 100+ gallons of maple syrup bottled thanks to maple sugaring volunteers
  • Introduced Goat Story Time 
  • Started Virtual Goat Experiences
  • Race, Food, and Land in Detroit 3 Part Webinar Series with MSU Extension Session Facilitators Alondra Alvizo and Naim Edwards
  • Virtual Evenings in the Garden: September – November
  • Stewards Virtual Summer Series: A teen led, resiliency focused series with seven sessions and 55 teens
  • Virtual Specialty Camps:  Vet Science, Outdoor Adventure, Winged Wonders: Interactive virtual camps for slightly older campers with 95 youth registered
  • Free Virtual Summer Camp: Blog activities and videos free for youth
  • Introduced Camp in a Box: Themed boxes for youths
  • Tollgate Videos featured at The Michigan State Fair, LLC Virtual State Fair 2020
  • Tollgate Farm Videos featured on DPTV’s Camp TV
  • Tollgate CSA: Distributed produce for 30 weeks or 60% of the year, and provided a total of 4510 shares during those 30 weeks, serving roughly 250 families between the two sessions. Sold 26 Thanksgiving Boxes filled with local products. Raised $1300 for the Sustainable Agriculture Program.
  • New CSA Field fenced and ready for next season
  • Collaboration with Sunflour Bakehaus in Farmington, MI on Thanksgiving box baked goods and cookies for Holiday Lights at the Farm
  • Virtual School Garden Series: In conjunction with Community Food Systems included 440 registrants
  • Seed Distribution: 140 seed kits mailed, and 3,500 participants impacted by distribution 
  • Meat Sales to Toasted Oak Grill and Market in Novi, MI
  • Collaborative Teacher Support Network: Peer to peer networking and idea sharing to support educators
  • Tollgate Presentation at Innovation in Education STEAM Conference
  • Tollgate Virtual Farm Tour about COVID-Response for Farm-Based Education Network
  • Tollgate Virtual Farm School:  Interactive weekly STEAM series: Follow the Nutrient Trail and the Secret Life of Trees: 25 weekly programs for 400+ kids including blog, farm videos, and journal pages
  • Tollgate Videos – We Miss You video in spring and Tollgate: A Learning Community in fall
  • Tollgate Surveys: educator survey and home-based learner survey
  • MSU Extension Action Team #5 – Tollgate supported this projects to compile educational resources on a central website and distribute and analyze surveys
  • Volunteer Selection Process: 200+ volunteers eligible to volunteer at Tollgate in 2021
  • Giving Tuesday Campaign: Our $5,000 campaign for our Access for All Educational Program Fund was 75% funded.
  • PAR Garden: Roughly +1,000 lbs of produce donated to Feed the Need Novi
  • Horse Barn Expansion Completed
  • Silver Appleyard Ducks: Flock expanded to 7 ducks
  • Toggenburg Goats: 14 kids born in 2020
  • Suffolk Sheep: 8 lambs born in 2020
  • Holiday Lights at the Farm Sponsored by ITC and Vibe Credit Union: 1649 cars, 1198 cookies, 933 cups of cocoa, 5 sponsors, 19 decorators, 270 boxes of cheese sold, $11,000 raised for agriculture education
  • Started the new MSU Tollgate Farm Store: Selling produce, pumpkins, corn stalks, honey, Tollgate 4-H Club products, MSU dairy store cheese, and holiday wreaths
  • Virtual Mornings on the Farm: 4 Sessions
  • Nursery Volunteers Fall Plant Sale: Revenues over the two days totaled $1700
  • Hay Harvest/Sales: Sold roughly 1000 bales and grossed about $3000 for the Tollgate livestock account.  Additionally, we retained about 650 bales of first and second cutting for use on the farm to feed our livestock.
  • Purchased and Installed New Cherry Tree Surrounds in the Sakura Garden 
  • Continued care of gardens (horticulture and educational) by garden volunteers
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