Springfield farm goes viral after reality show comes to visit

July 03, 2018
  • By Kara Driscoll
  • Staff Writer
Crace Gundolf, 11, left, and her sister, Faith, 13, lay with one of their cows after getting them moved in and settled Friday during the first day of the Clark County Fair. Bill Lackey/Staff

A video featuring a On the Rise Farm outside Springfield went viral after a Facebook web series came to surprise the nonprofit organization’s owners.

Returning the Favor is an American reality web television series on Facebook Watch that premiered in 2017. It chronicles the travels of Mike Rowe throughout the United States in search of people who give back to their communities. The show’s motto? “Because one good turn deserves another.”

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Rowe visited the eight-acre On the Rise Farm, which serves at-risk youth in Clark County struggling with family, social, educational and behavioral issues. On a daily basis, children and teens cook, clean, care for animals, sew and garden, according to the nonprofit’s website. Tutors also are provided by the Wittenberg Community Service Program, and help the children with their homework.

In 2015, a fire destroyed the main barn at the nonprofit. Six goats, several chickens and the group’s stock of feed, hay and farm equipment, such as boots for the kids, were destroyed in the fire. The nonprofit has worked to recover from the fire.

Ed McCullough sorts through the debris inside the On-the-Rise barn that was destroyed by fire Tuesday evening. On-the-Rise is a nonprofit that works with at-risk students on the farm to teach them life skills and hard work. Bill Lackey/Staff

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“Mike and the gang swing into Springfield, Ohio, to return the favor to Debbie McCullough and Cathy Tofstad — two best friends who run the On the Rise Farm, a local nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth in Clark County through hard work, compassion and work ethic,” the show description stated.

The video received more than 16,000 “likes” on Facebook and more than 8,000 shares. Watch the video here.

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