When Greg Masucci’s son was diagnosed with autism, he was worried about his future.
“When we predicted out his future, we didn’t really like what we saw. There’s really no employment opportunities for folks with disabilities or very limited amounts,” said Greg Masucci, Farmer, A Farm Less Ordinary.
So they decided to do something a little less ordinary. They left Washington, D.C and moved to Clarke County, Virginia.
“We were city people and we knew nothing about farming,” said Masucci.
But, that didn’t stop them from uprooting to help the special needs community. They started a non-profit organization called A Farm Less Ordinary.
“I like being with animals, growing plants, being outside and being outdoors, and doing fun things and stuff,” said Andrew Sutermeister, Worker, A Farm Less Ordinary.
With the help of volunteers and other non-profit groups, they only employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism and Down Syndrome.
“When people do move on from here, we want to make sure they have a base set of skills that employers are looking for. Ya know, they need to know they need to come to work on time, dressed appropriately,” said Masucci.
Greg says he hopes to change society’s way of thinking so people looks at others capabilities, instead of their disabilities.
“We need to start looking at people for what they can do, not what they can’t do,” said Masucci.
A Farm Less Ordinary is growing successful crops and successful people.
“It feels good to be doing something with my life,” said Sutermeister.
A Farm Less Ordinary plans to build a greenhouse which would also allow them to employ people with special needs all year long. Right now, they only have seasonal workers.