Healing Vets through Sustainable Farming: The Farmer Veteran Coalition
The Farmers Veteran Coalition offers employment training and places to heal for America’s veterans on American farms. Returning veterans need employment and often, a calm place to go, while the older generation of farmers are retiring, leaving the land unworked.The Coalition serves as a clearinghouse for training, and works to connect veterans with ways to finance their agricultural education along with farm- and food-related job opportunities.
Farm work resembles military work: it is physically challenging, demands flexible hours and immense self-discipline. Veterans find work that enables them to continue serving their country in a meaningful way. Founder Michael O’Gorman worked organic farming for 40 years. The father of a young veteran, he was inspired to create the coalition when he read a report about the number of veterans who come from rural communities.
One veteran runs a CSA farm with his partner near Fairfield, California. He says, “We went into the military because it was hard. Farming challenges everything I have every day. That’s a good thing.”
Too often, vets come home with trauma and lack of employment opportunities. O’Gorman notes, “We thought, not only can we help them find jobs, new ways to farm and rejuvenate the income in real America, we could also help solve America’s need for more farmers and food security.”
Michael O’Gorman talks about founding FVC in this video:
The FVC is looking for veterans who would like to enter the sustainable farming industry and looking for farmers or other food industry workers seeking dedicated employees. Concerned citizens are invited to support their mission with donations here.
Photo source: Farmer Veteran Coalition, www.farmervetco.org