KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A University of Tennesse graduate student hopes to change the way working families live and grow with farm-based childcare. 

“It’s more affordable, it’s more relaxing for the employees. The kids get a ton of fun. They get to eat healthy food and then when parents come to pick their kids up, they can take home dinner, so they can skip the grocery stop and life gets easier for everybody,” said Jennifer Durant. 

FarmCare is Durant’s brainchild. She placed first in the Growth category in the Fall 2021 Graves Business Plan Competition. She is using the $5,000 prize to launch an idea, born out of frustration. 

“You have to make over $100,000 to pay for quality care and quality food, and it shouldn’t be that way. We can all grow organic food. In fact, my toddlers can grow organic food,” said Durant. 

She is considering two different business models: build the program around an existing farm or build a farm around an existing daycare. However, either option will take time. 

“I of course want to start my own programs from the ground up, but that takes a few years. So, to begin the program we are going to start with a summer camp on existing land or daycare programs and we are going to scale from there,” said Durant.

Durant believes FarmCare will not only provide enriching care for children but also life experience. 

“One of the best parts about it is not just the fruits and vegetables. It’s the way that a farm works so everybody has a responsibility, everybody has to figure out how to get along. You are learning things about conflict resolution and character. It’s really, really good stuff,” said Durant. 

If you are interested in learning more about FarmCare or signing up your child for summer camp, visit