Division of AGRaising Warriors from the Ground up
Our AG Division is designed to train and empower military Veterans to combat poverty through sustainable and nutritious foods. Additionally, agri-therapy is a holistic nonclinical means of healing wounds of war. Often referred to as "dirt therapy" because of healthy microbes found in soil (and hey, it's just fun to get dirty), farming and gardening allow combat Vets an opportunity to create life verses taking it.
Many adult warriors like Matthew grew up on a farm. Returning to his roots, Matthew found healing in AG. Agri-therapy is a trending program for returning warriors. Veterans Farm was the foundation of this movement, along with Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC). FVC has continued to grow and expand operations through the US, while Veterans Farm elected to transition their services; some of which we had the privilege of adopting.
In 2016 we launched Operation Farm 2 Health (OF2H). OF2H built a coalition which included the Newberry American Legion, Blessed Hope, and the City of Newberry. Together, we provided food for over 2,500 underprivileged families, developed a community Peach Orchard (thanks to a grant from Bank of America), and trained more than 10 Veterans. Taking notice, a representative from the Alachua County Board of Education came for a visit with a vision.
In 2016, we began aiding in the development of the new nonprofit called GROW-HUB. GROW-HUB is a 75 acre land lease in Gainesville that incorporates our mission. As strategic partners, we decided to plant our AG Division there. Navy Veteran and Master Gardener John Cruikshank is the Director if this endeavor. You can learn more about our synergistic partnership at www.grow-hub.org.