“Centro Cassie” – IP Cassie Stern Training CenterCentro Cassie” is our working farm, demonstration project, social business, and IP’s headquarters in El Salvador. As a social business, our goal is to use profits from agriculture projects to help support our social programs in education, community development, local leadership development, agriculture training, and assistance for people with disabilities.
At Centro Cassie we primarily care for dairy cows, bees, and fruit trees. The main site is five “manzanas” (8.4 acres) and includes a training facility, bee hives, two large resting barns, a workshop, office, and a milk house that includes a refrigerated storage tank and a milking machine capable of milking eight cows at the same time. While our 100 cows (Jersey and Holstein) have room to graze, there are also feeding troughs where they are given high protein food supplements every three hours. In addition, we rent ten additional “manzanas” so that there is more space where cows can graze and on where we grow feed.
We try to minimize our environmental impact by collecting rain water from the roofs of all of our barns which flows into a holding tank. We recycle waste and use it as fertilizer for vegetable gardens and for feed that we grow on the surrounding land.
Our mission is to empower families who live in economically impoverished communities in rural El Salvador. As part of this mission, we:
- Provide permanent and temporary employment for 40 full and part-time workers in a rural area where there are no local jobs;
- Demonstrate methods for improving dairy production to rural farmers;
- Train and fund families to start honey-bee businesses;
- Teach local youth to grow vegetables;
- Prepare community leaders to plan and implement community development projects;
- Conduct a variety of IP social and educational programs including library-education centers, scholarships, and support for people with disability;
- Offer demonstration and meeting space for groups that want to conduct training activities on-site (e.g. Department of Agriculture, Joint Community Music Program, Community Meetings, etc.);
- Provide university students in a variety of areas (e.g. social work, agriculture, education) with opportunities to complete their social service hours.