Military service is a purpose-driven career. When you leave it, the key to fulfillment is finding new purpose. Hero Agriculture helps veterans find new purpose through farming.
We are failing our heroes when they leave the Military Services.
of U.S. adults
of adult suicides
Service members killed in action
Veterans died by suicide
PTSD increases suicide risk
of post-9/11 veterans who responded to the 2022 Wounded Warrior Project survey reported having
suicidal thoughts in the past year
Veteran Suicide Is Preventable
You can join Hero Agriculture in working to prevent veteran suicide. As large and complex as the veteran suicide problem is, some of the solutions are simple. Feeling connected is one of the most important factors in prevention.
Call. Text. Invite a veteran to coffee. Then ask where they like to go. They may be more comfortable in some places than others.
Empathize. Let them know it’s OK to vent. Validate the veteran’s feelings. You don’t have to get all gushy. Try this: “That sucks, man!”
Lead the Way
Don’t try to solve everything on your own. Connect the veteran with resources to help. Don’t just point the way. Walk together.
Ask the Question
“Are you thinking about suicide?” Don’t be afraid to ask. Asking about suicide does NOT create suicidal thoughts.
James Montgomery Flagg, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
What We Do
Meet Basic Needs
How We Work
Each veteran we help is different. Some are ready to be farmers from the moment they arrive. Some are transitioning out of a rehabilitation program and have to work just as hard at recovering as they do at farming. Others come to explore farming and discover they also need to recover.
We meet veterans where they are. No judgment. No demands. This is a place to build a life with new purpose, whatever it takes.
When veterans need more than farming know-how, we connect them with resources to help.
Who We Serve
Hero Agriculture is all about the individual. We meet heroes where they are and help them find solutions that work for them. Hero Agriculture veterans are a varied group, young and old, enlisted and officers. Many did a tour in the Middle East. Most saw combat. Some had decorated careers. Some were medically retired. Some separated under threat of disciplinary action, a common occurrence for those with traumatic brain injuries in the early 2000s. They may be single, married, divorced, or right on the brink of having a spouse leave. Many have kids. They carry with them a wide range of injuries, most of them hidden. Many show symptoms of brain injuries and PTSD, but not many are diagnosed. Some have suffered for decades before seeking help. More than a few arrive at the farm pretending they aren’t seeking help. Some don’t even know they need it yet.
When things are bad, I go visit the goats and let them lick the salt off my arms.
Give me the hardest job you’ve got, so maybe I’ll sleep tonight.
My wife likes me better if I’ve stopped at the farm on my way home from work.
Hide-and-seek with your 9-year-old was the best part of my day.
Why Use Farming?
Getting the hay baled just in time to beat the rain. Helping a cow deliver her calf. Selling a bumper crop of watermelons at the farmers market. That’s purposeful work.
Farming helps veterans find a new mission. It gives them purpose. Farming is demanding. Give it your full attention and you will be rewarded. Healing. Hope. Satisfaction.
Learn more about why farming works for veterans.
Taking a Risk to Make a Difference
Veteran suicide is preventable. This concept underpins everything we do at Hero Agriculture.
Many rehabilitation and recovery programs for veterans don’t accept those they deem a suicide risk. This is not our approach. We take even the hard cases and give them our best.
One of our veterans recently survived a suicide attempt. At the hospital, the first person he asked to see was Mike. We will be there for a veteran as long as they want our help.