WHO WE ARE
Founded in 2001, Campti Field of Dreams is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Louisiana residents by growing food, developing farmers and rebuilding the fabric of our rural communities. Our programs are implemented in collaboration with local, state and federal partners to fight persistent poverty through sustainable entrepreneurship. We operate the Campti Historic Museum, Jackson Square Community Garden and Tallowah Farm: a twenty-five-acre sustainable agriculture demonstration farm.
Permaculture Design Magazine Article: Isaacs-#108
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We take a holistic approach to community revitalization that considers Culture, Health, Education, Employment, Safety & Security and the Environment, both Built and Natural (CHEESE) because:
- WE BELIEVE everyone should know where they come from and the contribution their ancestors made to this country.
- WE BELIEVE in abundance and that everyone should have access to affordable nutrient dense food without harmful herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics.
- WE BELIEVE the economic engine of any community is entrepreneurship so we support small businesses that create living wage jobs in their local communities.
- WE BELIEVE everyone deserves to live, work and play in healthy, energy-efficient structures.
- WE BELIEVE everyone deserves an opportunity to maximize their potential and actualize their DREAMS.
HOW WE WORK
Campti Field of Dreams (DREAMS) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents in underserved communities through education, economic development, recreational activities and community service. Programs are grouped into four major categories: Cultural Heritage; Green Rehabilitation; Local Food Production and Sustainable Entrepreneurship.
The Campti Historic Museum was the first program of the organization, founded in 2001. It celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Campti and surrounding communities. Exhibits honors those that have served, shares the genealogy on the newly recognized Natchitoches Tribe, documents the churches and schools and celebrate our businesses. It is actively used for quilting, art and agripreneurship classes. It also serves as a gallery for local artists.
Local Food Production
DREAMS operates two community gardens, Jackson Square Community Garden in Natchitoches and Campti Community Garden within the limits of the Town of Campti. The flooding of the Red River over the past two years has halted production in the Campti Community Garden. However, just two months before the garden flooded for the first time in decades, we signed a lease agreement to farm 25-acres of the Vic and Amelia Richards Estate. We are developing a Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Farm. The working farm will serve as a teaching tool for historically underserved farmers, ranchers and value-added producers.
DREAMS understands that the engine of vibrant communities is entrepreneurship. Our goal is to support those who are interested in starting or growing a business in rural Louisiana, especially those in the Arts and Agriculture. Our Museum celebrates local artists and our Artist Showcase spotlights artists and artisans in the community.
DREAMS supports the development of a healthy, resource-efficient, mixed-use, mixed-income, built environment like the historic main streets and downtown communities for in rural areas. We provide consultation services to assist rural communities to preserve their building in a way that honors the past and supports the needs of future generations.
Louisiana Nonprofit Corporation with IRS recognition as a Public Charity with 501(c)3 tax exemption.
Board of Directors
Although educated in the mental health profession, Ayn Duncan was raised on a dairy farm in Catahoula parish and her roots are in agriculture. Ayn has a farm of her own in Red River Parish were she raises pastured poultry, hair sheep, milk goats, grass-fed beef, rabbits and quail. Additionally, she gardens and enjoys “wilding” for forgotten plants from which she crafts medicinal salves and teas.
Clara Silvie served as President of Campti Field of Dreams from 2008-2017. In addition to serving on the board, Mrs. Silvie also volunteers as curator for the Campti Historic Museum and program manager for the Helping Hands Quilting Circle. Mrs. Silvie is a retired teacher who taught kindergarten for 16 years. A 23 year resident of Campti, Louisiana, she is the wife of Natchitoches Parish Police Chief Siggie Silvie and has firsthand experience of the challenges faced by citizens in Campti.
Theresa Wyatt is a Registered Nurse and currently holds a management position in a nursing home. Ms. Wyatt sees firsthand the health challenges associated with the aging process as she cares for seniors in our community. A single parent, she is the mother of two teenagers in high school
Office Manager for Young Lumber Company and Young Estate, Ms. Shaddox owns Southern Lane Soaps. She lives on a 50-acre all female run family farm where she makes goat milk soaps, lip balm and fizzes.
Jim Kilcoyne, former director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, currently teaches at Northwestern State University School of Business. Mr. Kilcoyne is also a licensed realtor and business consultant.
Linda Queen is a retired Social Worker with over 30 years of administrative and supervisory experience. Ms. Queen is the Jackson Square Community Garden Supervisor.
Leon Rogers has spent the last 26 years using his talents to create jewelry. He spent five of those years teaching individuals with disabilities. Mr. Rogers is the sole proprietor of Jewel Craft as well as a Master Carpenter and Hobby Farmer.
Gloria Davis is a retired Social Worker with of 20 years of home care. She home schooled her children who have all gone on to have professional careers. She also volunteers with our youth agripreneurship program and has started a local garden club for seniors.
Donna Isaacs, LEED AP, Executive Director, has over 20 years of administrative experience and a history of working with underserved communities. Prior to relocating to Campti, she served as the Executive Director and Project Manager of the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center in Gainesville, Florida. She has instructed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Exam Prep Workshops nationwide for the University of Florida and the National Center for Preservation, Technology and Training and served as the conference coordinator for the international conference Rethinking Sustainable Construction 2006. Isaacs is honored to represent the great State of Louisiana as a member of the 2017-2018 class of the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. With a background in sustainable development, she is committed to fighting poverty, obesity and other health-related illnesses that plague small rural communities.
Waylon Breaux worked with the Master Gardeners Association of Natchitoches and supervised the greenhouse production at the parish detention center for four years. He joined Campti Field of Dreams in June 2015 where he manages the 25-acre sustainable agriculture demonstration farm and two community gardens. Waylon has completed the 2-day training for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the 1-day workshops on Agri-tourism and MarketReady. Waylon has been accepted into the UMass-Amherst School of Sustainable Food and Farming certificate program online which will allow him to increase his knowledge in ecological systems and farm management.
OUR SPONSORS, PARTNERS
Campti Field of Dreams could not accomplish its work without the support of committed, knowledgeable, experienced partners. Partnering with USDA NRCS has allowed us to host outreach events that increase participation in NRCS programs and services by socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers in Louisiana. The LSU AgCenter shares its technical expertise to educate the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and value-added producers. The Natchitoches Parish Library Northeast Branch has been an invaluable partner, hosting many of our outreach and education events. Campti Community Development Center partnered with us for Food Day events and incorporated the community garden into their afterschool program so that students could experience the joy of planting, growing, harvesting and eating nutritious food. Many students from Northwestern State University have volunteered in the community garden and farm. It takes a village and we are grateful for your continued support.