About Bowers Farm
Charles L. Bowers School Farm was purchased in the mid-1960's by Bloomfield Hills Schools to be used as a land laboratory. We are housed on 90 acres within Bloomfield Hills.
Animals such as sheep, horses, llama and a donkey graze the pastures. We also house poultry of all types, rabbits and goats. Every animal has a purpose here at the farm and farm equipment is used daily to maintain the property as an educational agriculture production enterprise.
Charles L. Bowers Farm is open daily and year-round for various educational programs and community events.
Want to visit Bowers Farm?
The farm offers educational field trips for schools interested in enhancing the classroom learning experience through authentic, place-based learning. Community organizations such as scouts, neighborhood associations, family and church groups can also sign-up to participate. Program topics include Plant Science, Animal Behavior, Sustainability, Harvesting, Conservation and Genetics to name a few. Programs with specific topics run at different times of the school year, range in duration and price and target different ages/groups.
If you prefer a more casual visit to Bowers Farm, we invite you to take a one-hour guided tour! Tours are scheduled in advance to allow for customized experiences for individuals and groups of virtually any size. Our Farm tour & wagon ride is an hour long and we ask for a minimum of 5 people. The cost is $10/person. We can still provide a tour & wagon ride for groups of less than 5, however the cost will then be a flat-fee of $50. If you'd like to schedule an educational program or a one-hour tour, please complete the form below or call us at 248.341.6475.
- Alan Jaros, Director
- Jackie Doran, Program Coordinator
- Jordan Hewitt, Site Coordinator
- Kaitlynn Steketee, Camp Coordinator
- Kathleen Blust, Guide
- Amy Cardin, Guide
- Kelli Clifton, Guide
- Jessica Lynn, Guide
- Aliza Marks, Guide
- Rajaa Sheena, Guide
- Laurie Simonelli, Guide
- Emily Zonder, Guide
- Sharon Ray, Guide
- Tyler Soncrainte, Guide
- David Snyder, Gardens
- Heather O'Brien, Guide
- Jill McIntyre, Guide
Alan is the Director of the Bowers School Farm leading the expansion of the educational facility since 2016. His work is emphasized by building strategy and leading teams to connect youths, adults, and communities to food and agriculture through outdoor learning environments. His area of expertise is in farm-based education, outdoor education, and youth development. Alan serves on several community associations and professional societies including the Preservation Bloomfield and the Friends of Bowers Farm Board of Directors. He is also a past President for the Detroit Association for Talent Development.
Previous work experience includes serving as the founding Education Director for Michigan State University Tollgate Farm and Education Center, and also as a member of the community food systems statewide work team. During his time at MSU, Alan was awarded the John A. Hannah Partnership Award in 2018, the Meritorious Service award for program excellence in 2014, and the MAE4-HYS Curriculum Design of Excellence Team Award in 2013. He holds an MS in Management from Walsh College and a BS in Human Resource Development from the College of Education at Oakland University, and a certificate in Small-Business Counseling from the MSU Product Center and Facilitative Leadership from Michigan State University.
Alan enjoys creating initiatives that bring meaning and authenticity to the educational experiences at the farm along with creating opportunities to bring community together.
Jackie has been the Program Coordinator for Bowers Farm and the Nature Center since 2003. Jackie graduated from Central Michigan University with a Business degree and completed a Masters degree while working full-time in the automotive industry. Once my two daughters were born, I chose to be a stay-at-home mom until they were full-time students. That’s when I began working at Bowers Farm and the Nature Center, and I have enjoyed it ever since.
"There is always something new to learn and I am proud to work for facilities that teach the importance of nature, food and animals and the roles they play in our everyday lives," shared Jackie.
Jordan in the Site Coordinator for Bowers Farm. Jordan holds over 20 years of equestrian experience, including over 10 years of instructional time covering a variety of disciplines with a specialization in driving. Jordan was additionally a livestock manager for a living history site! Jordan holds an Animal Science degree specializing in Agribusiness Management from Michigan State University, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree Agricultural Education.
"I look forward to creating the most authentic farm experience possible for the students and hopefully my time farming with horses can come in use when creating the backstory for how agriculture has evolved," expressed Jordan.
Hello All! I am the Camp Coordinator at Bowers Farm! I am originally from Long Island, New York and love the typical New York fare such as bagels and pizza (my favorite foods!). I have worked as a camp counselor and director for 12 years at an all-girls sleep-away camp called Camp Ma-He-Tu in upstate New York where I had the opportunity to empower young ladies to be strong, independent, and confident. I have a background in environmental education and enjoy sharing my passion for nature and our relationship with the natural world through educational programming. In May, I graduated from Molloy College with a Master’s degree in Childhood and Special education.
I can’t wait to bring my passion for science, education, and fun camp culture to the program this year!
Kaitlynn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen is an Instructional Farm Guide at Bowers Farm and the Bowers 4H Club coordinator since 2015. Kathleen graduated from Oakland University in the spring of 2018 with a Bachelors of Science, majoring in Biology with an Integrated Science Endorsement, and a minor in Mathematics for Secondary Education. Kathleen is currently attending Oakland University in the Masters of Secondary Education program to obtain a teaching certification.
"Educating youth in agriculture and working on a farm are my passions; I am so lucky to get to do them everyday at work!", shared Kathleen.
Amy has been an Educational Guide at Bowers Farm since 2010, as well as the Director for the Barnyard Buddies summer camps. Amy was raised in the suburban Chicago area, and attended college at SMU in Dallas with majors in English, Psychology, and Education, and a minor in Creative Writing.
"Bowers Farm is a dream job for me! Combining my love of teaching, being around kids, and being out in nature!", shared Amy.
Kelli is a Farm Guide with an alpaca-loving family. Kelli's family owns dogs, cats, birds, fish, bunnies, and chickens, as well as leases and shows alpacas for 4H at the Oakland County Fair.
Kelli holds a teaching degree in English and Physical Education from Central Michigan University, as well as a master's degree in Sports Administration from Wayne State University. Kelli has taught in K-12 public schools, public and private colleges, and as a paraeducator for special needs students.
"I love that at Bowers Farm I get to combine my love for animals, kids, and education all into one! It truly is my dream job," expressed Kelli.
Jessica has been a team member of Bowers School Farm since spring of 2015. Jessica began an Educational Farm Guide for field trips and community tours. With a background in Animal Science from Michigan State University, teaching about agriculture and engaging people in the process of how food is grown and raised is Jessica's passion. In 2017 Jessica became an Agriculture Instructor for Bloomfield Hills High School and also advised the BHHS FFA chapter (Future Farmers of America).
"From teaching high school in the mornings, elementary groups in the afternoon, all while working with livestock, plants, and an amazing staff and guests - the farm is my favorite place to be!", Jessica shared.
Being a part of Bowers Farm allows me to explore my interest in small farms, natural foods and responsible agriculture while having fun teaching others in these areas. My summers growing up were spent on a family ranch which is where I initiated my appreciation for nature and agriculture. Curiosities led me into electrical engineering, and later into intellectual property law allowing me to learn new areas with diverse creators and inventors. After starting a family, I chose to stay home and explore with my children while volunteering and working in schools until joining Bowers.
I enjoy exposing the community to the farm and agriculture in hopes of providing them with an understanding and respect for them.
Hello! My name is Emily Zonder and I have been working at the Bowers Farm as an educational guide since September 2019. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology and minors in Social Work and Urban Studies. I have worked as an outdoor educator in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Northern Ontario, and there is nothing I love more than working with youth outside and building community together. I am passionate about local food, sustainable agriculture, and experiential education, and am thrilled to be a part of the Bowers Farm team!
I am one of the Educational Guides at Bowers Farm. I joined the team in September 2019, after my husband’s job relocated us to Michigan. I began my teaching career as an educational aide for students with special needs. I returned to school late in life to earn a Masters in Elementary Education from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. I taught fourth grade for 15 years in both public and private school settings. After 20 years of traveling with the United States Air Force, my husband, two sons, and I settled in Southern Illinois. My sons both married local ladies, and now have children of their own who call me “Granny”! I love working with children, and have a passion for educating young minds. The farm is the perfect place to allow students to learn through exploration. I am thrilled to be a part of their adventures!
Tyler started working at Bowers during the Spring of 2019. He worked as a Summer Camp Group Leader and most recently became a Farm Guide. Tyler was introduced to Bowers on a Farm visit and the lasting memories made him desire to come back as an employee. Through-out High School, Tyler took Agriculture classes focusing on plant science as well as childhood development courses and was involved in several leadership organizations. Tyler’s engagement into Agriculture started as a hobby in Middle School, as he would find himself starting small gardens in teachers classrooms. After having a wonderful experience being a Group Leader and Farm Guide, his hobby had evolved into a Passion. Tyler currently is attending Oakland Community College and has plans to pursue a degree within the Agriculture Industry.
“I have such an amazing job! Everyday, I get to educate and introduce children and adults into the world of Agriculture. One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing how excited the children are to be here and the funny reactions we get from our first time farm visitors. I love the sense of community the Farm brings to Bloomfield Hills. I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to work at such a special place and I am especially proud to call myself a member of the Bowers Farm Team!”
David Snyder started working as the garden leader in June of 2019. He loves being able to garden with the school children. Growing up in a more rural part of Michigan, David developed his skills in gardening by taking a lot of the responsibility of the family garden as a child, which was a passion that continued through his teen years, when the family moved to an even more remote area, even living on a dairy farm temporarily.
In his teens, David decided not to pursue agriculture, which he viewed as a slightly isolating career (due to lack of population in rural areas), but instead pursue a Bible education at Frontier School of the Bible.
Ironically enough, to pay for his bachelor's in Bible degree David worked on three different farms and even an Angus bull ranch. Rather than getting away from agriculture, his experience and skills were expanded.
"After thinking that I was getting away from farming for good, I once again found myself working on a farm. It seems to be my destiny! I am so thankful that I get to be a part of the lives of these kids though. The isolation from people was why I originally wanted to get away from farming, but now, I get the best of both worlds here at Bowers School Farm!"