Last updated on July 22nd, 2021 at 02:36 pm
Veterans have a long history of service to our country through military service. It is a sacrifice of time away from families and friends and sometimes occupation to serve and protect our freedoms. Many find the work in agriculture a form of self-healing, purpose, and self-identity upon return from active duty or training.The ecotherapy of caring for livestock and plants boosts mental health resiliency and overall wellness.
In 2017, the USDA added Producers with Military Service as a special category in the Agriculture Data Census; 370,019 agricultural producers are US veterans, and over 290,000 have spent over 10 years on their farms.
AgriSafe has a unique project dedicated to agricultural producers with military service; it is called the Veteran Farmer project. Because veterans have unique health disparities, we focus on identifying those health disparities and develop programs that assist with achieving health equity and the overall improved health and wellness of veterans.
Similar to the farmer health profile, the veteran working in agriculture may experience hearing loss, respiratory illness (acute or chronic) due to environmental exposures, musculoskeletal disorders, sleep deprivation and disorders, and mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress. The hazards and exposures incurred during active duty then result in a myriad of injuries and illness. Those disparities are likely to compound with the hazards and exposures found in the work of agriculture.
The work ethic in the military is clearly defined and the transition to finding a new role in family, community and profession can be a challenge. Evidence-based research has identified resources supporting a healthy lifestyle for the Veteran Farmer.
We want to hear from you! Your story could help another farmer or rancher.
Fact Sheets and Guides
- Agricultural Respirator Selection Guide
- Agricultural Respirator Rainbow Guide
- Improving the Health of Farmer Military Veterans
- Tips and Tricks for Better Sleep
- Whole Body Vibration
- Addressing Military Needs in Agriculture
- AgriSafe Think Tank: Improving the Health of Farmer Military Veterans
- Learning When To Put the Work Away: Finding Balance for Veteran Farmers
- Sleepless in America
- To Care is to Honor: Understanding the Unique Healthcare Needs of Veteran Farmers
- Veteran Farmers: Reducing Noise Exposure & Protecting Your Health
- Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance (SMVF TA) Center
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Page updated: July 2021