About Veterans Farm
Our mission is to help veterans reintegrate back into society through the use of our Beginning Farmer fellowship program. While working together in a relaxed, open environment veterans will work as a team to develop solutions that will enable them to overcome physical and mental barriers.. Through our training fellowship program veterans will learn the skills and gain the education they need to start their own local farm or to work for larger farming organizations.
America’s farms are facing a crisis for lack of young people going into agriculture. Most statistics point to the average American farmer being between 57 and 60 years old with four farmers retiring for every one entering the field.
Our goal is to help fill this gap by partnering with organizations such as the University of Florida and the Farmers Veterans Coalition to assist returning veterans in obtaining the training and resources to start their own farm or to work with larger farming organizations.
Long Term Goal:
The Veterans Farm has four objectives to reach their long term goal of preparing veterans for a successful agriculture career.
1) Partner with the University of Florida extension educators to develop on a 3 month intensive training cirriculm for new farmers to encourage and enhance their interest and comprehension in agriculture.
2) The program will implement a coordinated, stakeholder-driven approach to identifying and recruiting veterans as they separate from military service and transition to civilian life.
4) To expand upon the existing Veterans Farm innovative mentoring model.
5) To collaborate and work with local farmers, organic associations, community business leaders and the community at large.
6) To ensure that a long-term fellowship program will offer a unique tenure model to connect beginning farmers to lease and land purchase opportunities. Support for this stage will be offered through workshops, direct consultation, planning tools, and production information to support farmers as they become established.
Robert Brown, Disabled Veteran
“This is one of the greatest projects I’ve ever been involved in; nobody else is providing this type of training and therapy on such a large scale for our disabled veterans. For the first time in 6 winters I was able to overcome my depression from PTSD while working at the Veterans Farm.”
Dr. Cid Nazir, Neurologist
“Picking blueberries is a form of physical therapy that will help veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries to regain hand eye coordination, as well as develop cognitive skills”.
Denise W Bull, PHD
“Managing this business will enhance veterans sense of well being by improving their decision-making and problem-solving skills. Assisting other veterans should foster a sense of responsibility and improved self-esteem”.
Dr. Richard Corcoran, MD
“I expect veterans will be able to derive great improvement in their cognitive and motor skills, as well as enhanced self esteem, and confidence from this type of horticulture therapy”.
Patrick Sanders, Disabled OIF/OEF combat veteran.
“The Veterans Farm saved my life and my home from foreclosure. Since working at the Veterans farm I have been able to do something the doctors said I’d never be able to do and that’s quit the pain medications. Because I have a place to decompress I have even since quit smoking. Today the future is bright for me and my family” and I look forward to a career in farming.