Johnson County Considering Options For Historic Poor Farm

The barn on the 19th century Johnson County Poor Farm just west of Iowa City on Melrose Avenue can be seen through stalks of corn in this Oct. 19, 2001, file photo. (Brian Ray/KCRG-TV9)

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By Richard Pratt

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Johnson County officials are considering options for its historic poor farm, and appear most interested in establishing a working farm involving people with special needs.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the county Board of Supervisors is considering a proposal to create a partnership with Goodwill of the Heartland.

The partnership would create a 2-acre farm on the far west side of Iowa City, where people with special needs could earn farm training. Organic goods from the farm would be sold at farmers markets or to participants of a community agriculture group.

There would also be an educational component about organic farming and the historical treatment of mental illness.

The newspaper reports county officials are working on establishing an agreement with Goodwill this spring, but some have funding questions.

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