22 Veteran Suicides a day (Dept. of Veterans Affairs 2013)
2013 Unemployment rate among Gulf War II Veterans is 44% higher than the national average
Our sole mission is to build the farming system and train the family to operate a sustainable earth friendly farm with year round production so they have a real income rather than forced to live on disability or public assistance.learn more
Once a candidate has been screened for qualification, they are brought to the training facility in Woodward, Oklahoma. Here veterans will be trained in all phases of running and managing their farm learn more
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Every day we lose 20+ veterans to suicide brought on by PTSD. The problem grows worse every year. Something must be done to end this national tragedy. This is why we have started this program. Liberty Farms will train veterans and their families and provide all the equipment and support they need to become farmers in a small space (750-5500 sq ft), even in an urban environment, to help them heal and to provide a good, solid income for themselves and their families and we will do this free of charge to the veterans we help. The concept is called Horticultural therapy (HT).
History and Practice
Horticultural therapy (HT) is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the "Father of American Psychiatry," was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.
In the 1940s and 1950s, rehabilitative care of hospitalized war veterans significantly expanded acceptance of the practice. No longer limited to treating mental illness, HT practice gained in credibility and was embraced for a much wider range of diagnoses and therapeutic options. Today, HT is accepted as a beneficial and effective therapeutic modality. It is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational, and community settings. While the team at Liberty Farms are not therapists, we have seen first hand how working with the land, plants and animals have changed the lives of people struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression. Many who have benefited from this type of activity report a renewed desire to live, decreased anxiety or stress and improved self-esteem. If you feel you may need help from a registered therapist please contact a mental health professional right away
The Facility @ Liberty Farms
Our training facility, to be built summer 2016 centrally located Woodward, Oklahoma, is in a quiet country setting far from the hectic life of the big city. Here there will be a large scale greenhouse aquaponics system where the candidates will live and work for 8 weeks or more while participating in an immersion training program covering all aspects of this production system. The scale of the facility will solve two critical issues for the success of the program.
First the scale is large enough to make the program self sustaining once production begins, earning as much as $500,000/year with phase one of the plan (1.5 acre facility). By the end of phase three (4.5 acres) the facility will produce an income of approximately $6-7 million/year due to size and additional varieties of produce, all of it to fund the program. At this level we would then be completely self funded with no need for grants or fundraising efforts. Liberty Farms will be the largest facility of its kind anywhere in the world.
Second the facility will always be in various stages of the production cycle, allowing us to compress the training into one eight week program. A smaller scale facility would require an entire year to complete the production cycle and require a minimum of two trips to the training facility. We could show them everything, let them ask questions and send them home. However, that would not give them a realistic look at what to expect when they return home and manage the new farm we will build for them. Additionally, the extra time will allow us to evaluate their ability and the need for any special equipment or setup before the installation, while still with us, not while the newly minted farmer is trying to start a new business.
Liberty Farms will arrange travel to our facility in Woodward, Oklahoma, and the candidate veteran will live on site in comfortable housing about the size of a 2 bedroom apartment complete with laundry and kitchen. Candidates will be encouraged to bring their families along and share in the training experience. They will learn to plant, care for, harvest and package the fish and vegetables produced; proper food handling techniques; and water quality training. Upon completion of the training
program each candidate will be evaluated for suitability for the program and what special tools or equipment will be required for the installation on their property back home. We will make every effort to find a way or try and find them
the help they need to get them to a place we can get them started.
Veterans will come to the training facility to be trained in all phases of running and managing their farm over an 8 week period on a working farm. >>Read More
Once trained Liberty Farms will obtain all the required permits and materials to build their greenhouse and growing system on the veterans land. >>Read More
Using Aquaponics and Hydroponic systems inside a gutter connected greenhouse our farmers will produce year round. >>Read More
Apply to be a candidate for the program, requirements and success stories. >>Read More