The Haugh Foundation, established by the Haugh family to support rehabilitation and inclusion programmes in the United States and the Cayman Islands, has officially gifted the land on which Beacon Farms is located to the Beacon of Hope Foundation, a Cayman-registered non-profit organisation that provides jobs in agriculture to Caymanians recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
At an event held at Beacon Farms on Thursday 1 December, Beacon Farms chief executive officer Sandy Urquhart thanked Granger, Marjorie, and Scott Haugh for the generosity of their donation and recognised the positive impact it will have in the community by providing a safe, sober, and supervised working environment for recovering addicts.
“The Haugh Foundation’s investment in Beacon Farms is life-changing,” said Urquhart. “Beacon Farms gives people a better chance at rebuilding their lives after substance abuse. The programme offers the opportunity to learn new skills, earn a wage and gain confidence to rejoin the community. We currently have 12 members of staff employed at Beacon Farms. This donation should allow us to increase both the scale of our farming operations and the number of people we can support in the programme.”
Beacon Farms Patron His Excellency Governor Martyn Roper, Deputy Premier Chris Saunders, Minister of Agriculture Jay Ebanks and around 30 supporters attended the land donation event on Thursday. Guests were served a breakfast buffet prepared by Mise en Place that featured fresh produce from the farm and treats made with Beacon Farms coconut oil and flour, before taking a tour of the farm.
The Haugh Foundation initially purchased 34 acres of land and an old farmhouse in North Side in 2017 with the idea of offering a continuum of care for people in recovery. As early supporters of The Bridge Foundation, a halfway house in West Bay, Granger, Marjorie, and their son Scott recognised the challenges facing Caymanians seeking employment after leaving transitional housing and saw Beacon Farms as an opportunity to help them on the next step of their journey.
“Helping Caymanians rebuild their lives after substance abuse is our way of giving back to the Cayman community where we’ve had a home for more than forty years,” said Granger Haugh, who established the Haugh Foundation after selling his medical diagnostics company Cliniqa Corporation. “Beacon Farms not only provides jobs and training, but it’s also making impressive advances in agriculture. We are extremely proud of all the farm has achieved in its first five years and look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings.”
As a social enterprise, Beacon Farms aims to become financially self-sufficient through sales of agricultural produce and manufactured products as well as through its recently launched Beacon Farming Services which offers a rock crushing and soil improvement package to other farmers. Beacon Farms is forecasting to become self-sustaining by the end of 2025.
“Beacon Farms has been blessed to have such a generous and caring benefactor to help us get started,” said Urquhart. “With the Haugh family’s support, we have been able to invest in the training, machinery and land improvements needed to operate on a commercial level. We anticipate it taking another three years before we break even. Eventually, our farming programme will sustain our social programme.”
To help bridge the gap while funding from the Haugh Foundation is scaled back and farming operations are scaled up, Beacon Farms has launched a fundraising campaign to ensure jobs on the farm are not put at risk in the interim.
“Beacon Farms has a valuable role to play, helping people get back onto their feet as productive and responsible members of society. We all have a duty of care towards those who need our help, and we hope our Caymankind community will provide some financial assistance until the point Beacon Farms can fund itself.”