Our vision is to create a network of interdependent and self-sufficient veteran farms practicing sustainable agriculture through community based education and production.
The mission for the Dauntless Veteran Foundation is simple, to train and equip veterans to translate their talents from the field to the farm. Broadly, our goal is to help Veterans rehabilitate and reintegrate through agriculture.
But why farming?
Simply because the median age of farmers in America is 58, and two out of every three retiring farmers are not being replaced. Youth are not getting into agriculture; forcing family farms to sell to “big-ag”. This perpetuates food insecurity with supply chains relying on “just-in-time” produce, which is highly wasteful and makes communities reliant and unprepared.
Veterans are needed now more than ever to maintain food security for the nation. Soldiering and farming have been intertwined for millennia because both require hard work and attention to detail; while tending the land is perhaps one of the oldest methods of post-war therapy. Holistic farming is a perfect therapeutic and professional alternative for Veterans to find peace and a meaningful occupation. Studies have shown that healthy soil is home to billions of probiotic bacteria that can regulate mood and mitigate the symptoms of PTSD through the release of serotonin via the gut (or lung) to brain pathway. Not only that, soil can act as a tactile therapy that can help relieve the symptoms of TBI.
But how can we get veterans onto their own farms? The barriers to entry seem enormous for any aspiring farmer. The USDA requires experience and veterans need access to land, Dauntless Veteran Foundation will offer both.
Through our network of interdependent farms, we will provide veterans interested in agriculture the necessary experience to qualify for their own first-time farmer loan. We will also offer job placement opportunities with partners that exist throughout the entire agriculture supply chain. Perhaps a Veteran finds out that field farming is not for them – no problem, there are plenty of Agricultural Occupational Specialties to choose from. From sales to machinery, to value-added production, the options are far and wide!
Dauntless Veteran Foundation programs and resources will promote pro-social behavior, strengthen relationships and interpersonal skills, foster strong intrapersonal awareness, and help reintegrate veterans into their community. Only through personal relationships can a sense of individual and community responsibility be re-established. This will help veterans commit to a path to a self-sufficient life with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
If you are interested in getting involved in our programs or making a donation to our mission, please contact us or donate here