Interview with Shawn Zimmerman – Enterprise Farm Project Manager
Enterprise Farm strives to support and financially supplement New Hope Uganda ministry as well as provide a place to demonstrate, educate, and impact the surrounding community. That is our goal. We provide jobs and seek to promote profitable and sustainable agriculture in the community. We want to excel in each of our farming practices and in our business endeavors. We want to increase New Hope’s ability to provide for itself. We believe this is a testimony to the children of New Hope and ultimately a blessing to the community.
What are the goals of Enterprise Farm this year?
We have introduced a five year plan for Enterprise Farm, and this year our concentration is on three things. First, we want to manage everything in the best way that we can. Secondly, we are focusing on our dairy. We want to make sure we are able to produce enough milk for our entire organization. This would help us internalize a significant cost. Thirdly, we are expanding our vegetable gardens, and gradually moving towards a district farmer’s cooperative.
What are some ways you’ve seen God working at Enterprise Farms this year?
First of all, it is one of my goals, to make sure the quality of our work reflects the glory of God, and that we treat our workers well for their hard work. We have offered our workers micro-finance loans and bicycles, and we seek to care for them and meet their needs where possible. This year, God has really blessed the farm and we are sitting on a significant harvest. In the past, we struggled with droughts and other problems, but this year we’re going to succeed. We praise and give God all the glory for His blessing on Enterprise this year. While, we don’t really have any salvation moments, there have been times when we have ministered to our workers. One time, after speaking about the universe, planets, and solar system during a morning devotion, a fascinated Muslim working for us, said “I always thought that the Earth is the floor of a house, and the sky was a ceiling.” Essentially, we thought the world was flat and it really made me see how simple education can turn the glory back to God.
What challenges has Enterprise Farms faced this year?
We’ve had petty theft, mechanical and maintenance issues, and some cattle damage. Also, there have been some employee issues that we needed to deal with, but overall it has been a fairly easy year. There really have not been a whole lot of problems.
What are some ways people can pray for Enterprise Farm?
I think our biggest prayer request – as is with farming – is that God would show his favor on us. While, I think we’re seeing that this year, we still need prayer. God has been showing us His favor, through the rains that He has sent, and the yields we’ve been able to get off our crops. Another item of prayer is that we need educated and qualified people working with us at the Farm. People with degrees in agriculture/business, qualified people, with a ton of initiative. Another prayer item is that, while there have been a lot of people that have supported us from the US, I pray that that group would continue to grow. and that when they come over, they come to help the farm. Finally, I pray that all our employees can succeed both financially and spiritually as the farm continues to grow.
[Interview done by Harrison Scott]