FARM Camp is a six-week program centered around a structured farm life experience in a safe, peaceful environment. Veterans are surrounded by other veterans who know and understand their military journey as they work side-by-side with a new mission and purpose.
Each veteran has their own private space and living quarters with 24-hour peer support, two major components of this program.
The camaraderie at FARM Camp helps re-direct focus while members function as a team with a common goal. It builds relationships while restoring trust, confidence, self-control and self-esteem in the most natural way.
Veterans experience a new construct of life and growth, connecting with the soil, planting seeds, nurturing plants to harvest, and caring for farm animals. They are introduced and have access to various alternative therapies, and they participate in stress relieving recreational activities. All of which are provided through a collaborative effort with our partnering VSO’s (veteran service organizations).
Why is FARM Camp Effective and Necessary?
U.S. Military Basic Training, or Boot Camp, has the “break, make and mold” process down to an art. Everything is planned and scheduled from beginning to end. Every minute of every day is structured with somewhere to go, something to do, processes to learn, regulations to follow, and tasks to perform. The new recruit’s opinions, thoughts, focus, and actions are quickly converted to the military way.
While the transition from civilian life to military life happens very quickly, returning to civilian society can be a real challenge for many veterans. This is especially true for combat veterans who have experienced a structural dynamic that is hard to comprehend.
That structured military lifestyle of commitment and service to the country remains with a veteran long after leaving the military, and its influence follows him/her for the rest of their life.
Farm life and work provides a familiar structure to veterans, and FARM Camp not only introduces veterans to opportunities in agriculture, it helps in their transition from the military lifestyle back into society as a civilian.
After completing the 6-week FARM Camp program, veterans can enroll in F.A.R.M.’s agricultural internship program. A 3-month agricultural internship provides on-the-job training in more extensive and advanced sustainable farming practices. The internship also qualifies veterans to participate in Texas A&M’s “Battleground to Breaking Ground” and incubator farm program, helping new farming veterans start their own farm.