Therapeutic farming, gardening and beekeeping programs for military veterans

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Bees 4 Vets (Washoe Valley, NV)
https://bees4vets.org/
Our mission is to assist military veterans impacted by PTSD or TBI who are trying to transition back into the general workforce through vocational beekeeping experiences in the local community; combining outdoor activity, education and community outreach to create an environment of support and training where veterans can develop the interest and skills necessary to participate in beekeeping as a vocation or hobby.

Beekeeping can be very satisfying for those suffering from PTSD or TBI. Beekeeping has been known to be a good vocation or hobby for disabled veterans since at least the end of World War I.


Bee Veterans (St. Paul, MN)
https://www.beelab.umn.edu/bee-squad/bee-squad-programs/bee-vets
Bee Veterans was founded in honor of veteran and beekeeper Michael Roche. His strong belief in the therapeutic benefits of beekeeping for returning Veterans inspires us to provide the materials and training necessary to make beekeeping an integral part of Veterans’ lives. The Bee Veterans program is a partnership of the UMN Bee Squad and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The Bee Veterans Apiary is located at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

Bee Veterans functions as free beekeeping workshops for veterans. Participants will be provided with protective clothing and tools, and will work with UMN Bee Squad beekeepers to learn about bees and to try their hands at working in the hives.


Boots to Bees (Ohio Valley, WV)
http://bootstobees.org/
The United States is currently battling two major epidemics: the loss of 1) the bees that are vital to pollinating our food supplies and 2) our veterans to suicide and debilitating mental afflictions. In addition, veterans often struggle financially when they return to civilian life. 

This Boots to Bees ™ Project joins the forces of partners across the nation to help address both issues while creating business opportunities and work for veterans (and any interested family members) and positively affecting the health of the nation’s food and honey supplies.

We invite you to join us.


Brothers in Bees
https://www.brothersinbees.com/
We are a cause-based organization with a mission to provide a reflective and rewarding experience for U.S. veterans through beekeeping and to spread awareness of the impact of honey bees on local communities and the world.


F.A.R.M. - Farmers Assisting Returning Veterans
http://www.farmvet.org/
F.A.R.M. is a nonprofit organization established to assist veterans transition from military service to civilian life. We believe in a multi-faceted therapeutic approach: agricultural therapy, recreational therapy, and professional medical treatment. 


Farmer Veteran Coalition
http://www.farmvetco.org/
The mission of Farmer Veteran Coalition is mobilizing veterans to feed America.

We cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. We believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems. We believe that agriculture offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits.

Homegrown by Heroes is the official farmer veteran branding program of America, administered nationally by FVC. It certifies ranchers, farmers, and fisherman of all military eras to sell their product as veteran owned and produced. The label informs consumers that agricultural products donning the logo were produced by U.S. military veterans, and it allows veterans to differentiate their farm and ranch products in the marketplace.


Freedom Farm for Vets (Wadsworth, IL)
https://freedomfarmforvets.org/
Freedom Farm for Vets is a safe place to go any time a veteran needs a break from the daily stresses of life. All vets and members of their family are welcome. Here we don’t use words like “handicapped” or “challenged”. The farm is about vets helping vets, the farm feeding the hungry in our community, and in time experiencing the rewards of another kind of service.

If you or someone you know is a veteran, give us a try. This is a special place. We are grateful for your service and we’re here if you need us.


Growing Veterans (Mount Vernon, WA)
http://growingveterans.org/
Using the farm as the catalyst, we provide opportunities for veterans to engage in peer-support and engage with the broader community.


Heroes to Hives (East Lansing, MI)
https://pollinators.msu.edu/programs/heroes-to-hives/
Heroes to Hives is a unique program through Michigan State University Extension that seeks to address financial and personal wellness of veterans through professional training and community development centered around beekeeping. Veterans leave our program with a broad depth of beekeeping knowledge, as well as personal and professional relationships that open up new opportunities and ensure long-term peer support.


S.A.V.E. (Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education)Farm (Manhattan, KS)
http://www.thesavefarm.org/
Our mission is to provide a training farm with an adjacent clinic, assist servicemembers and veterans to transition, to find purpose and meaning in life and enable them to learn valuable vocational skills to meet the demand for agricultural ownership, employment, or other advanced schooling. Facilitate healing for those in need and place those trained on working farms.

A gap exists between the need for new farmers in our country and a large potential population of new farmers that exists within our veteran and transitioning servicemember populations. The average age of farmers in the U.S. is approaching 60 with 40% over 65. Sixty-three percent (63%) of our farms may be in the last generation. Therefore succession planning is critical in the country's farming future.

2.3 million veterans and transitioning servicemembers are looking for a meaningful way to live life. A high percentage of them indicate an interest in farming. Therefore, a tremendous opportunity exists.

To bridge the gap, a pathway to farming for our veterans and servicemembers is needed.

Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education, or S.A.V.E farm, will bridge the gap providing a home-like training center where they can learn to farm and heal as they are brought into the culture of agriculture.

Upon completion of training, transitioning servicemembers and veterans will be matched with mentor farmers with the potential to work on, manage or own a farm.


Urban Ark Conversation (Effort, PA)
https://www.urbanarkconservation.org/
Urban Ark Conservation is a young non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded and operated by an Army veteran. Our mission is centered around wildlife preservation of various endangered species of herpetofauna, and the conservation of endangered breeds of livestock. 

Our goal is to create an entirely sustainable homestead on our 11 acre property in Pennsylvania. This facility will be utilized to educate and train sustainability practices as well as hold workshops for veterans suffering from PTSD. Construction on our aquaponics greenhouse is underway, and we hope to be able to provide organic, non gmo, and pesticide free foods soon! We will also be working closely with the Livestock Conservancy, and our chosen heritage stock will be carefully monitored and controlled, keeping our animals healthy, genetically diverse, and maintained in pastured areas on non gmo diets.

Education, and sustainability are key to the conservation of species, natural habitats, and fragile ecosystems.


Veterans Healing Farm (Hendersonville, NC)
http://veteranshealingfarm.org/
We exist to serve veterans by offering workshops on innovative farming techniques and foster a thriving micro-community of veterans and civilians who build deep friendships and cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Additionally, we support our nation's veterans by growing and donating high-quality fruits, vegetables, and flower bouquets to veterans and their caregivers free of charge.


VetREST
http://www.vetrest.org/organic-farming.html
VetREST seeks to establish for profit organic farms for each chapter. Each farm will house veterans recovering from PTS, teach them how to farm and for those who desire, help them one day own and operate their own farm. This not only helps our veterans but also our nation!


Victory Farmers (Olympia, WA)
http://goodgrub.org/community-food-solutions/victoryfarmers/
The Victory Farmers offer opportunities for veterans to transform their mission to one that cultivates life, while nourishing our families, our peers, and those in need.

We empower veterans, active duty service members and their families to establish strong roots in community through continued service, peer-to-peer support, and a deeper connection with the natural world.

Together, we are welcoming veterans home, growing good food and building community.


West Virginia Dept. of Agriculture - Veterans & Heroes to Agriculture (West Virginia)
https://agriculture.wv.gov/ag-business/veterans-and-heroes-to-agriculture/
The Veterans & Heroes to Agriculture program is dedicated to the integration and support of veterans entering or currently working in agriculture to benefit their health and welfare, as well as the state’s agricultural economy. Through invaluable partnerships with agencies, organizations, and farmers across the state, members receive opportunities for education, training, scholarships, and mentorship spanning various topic and skill levels. The program also seeks to further promote the development of agricultural industries, products, and marketing opportunities across the state.
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