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 USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture 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 Farms objectives to reach their long term goal of preparing veterans for a successful career in agriculture.
1) Provide a 3 month intensive training curriculum for New Beginning Veteran Farmer/Ranchers to encourage and enhance their interest and comprehension in agriculture.
2) Provide Educational scholarships for 4 week introductory training session.
4) To provide intensive case management, resources, extended outreach and post follow up.
5) To collaborate and work with local farmers, organic associations, community business leaders and the community at large to organize support around the new beginning veterans farmer/rancher.
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
7) Provide Educational Scholarships, Farming workshops, referrals and matching veterans with experience farming mentors
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.