Today's Ag Spotlight is on real American Heroes who help transition veterans from active service to agriculture. Tod Bunting is a retired Air Force major General – with over 30 years of service. He has devoted his post military life to veteran care. Also with us is Virgil Williams who is also a veteran and runs operations at Save Farm.
SAVE Farms is a training farm for veterans of all eras and their families. A pathway to farming and healing. Americans celebrate Veterans Day on November 11 to honor our veterans’ patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. While this day is a wonderful tribute, there are organizations who honor veterans every single day of the year. The SAVE Farm in Manhattan, KS., is one of them.
The concept for the SAVE Farm began nearly a decade ago, when retired Colonel Gary Lagrange and his daughter saw results from training beekeeping and providing therapy to soldiers at nearby Ft Riley. A non profit was formed by a diverse group of veterans, farm and ranch experts and educators.
With the help of organizations like The Nature Conservancy, and the Conservation Fund, the SAVE Farm is now a reality. It provides therapy as needed and hands-on teaching to veterans and transitioning service members through experienced professionals. They learn how to successfully and sustainably manage cropland, livestock animals, orchards, horticulture, and beekeeping.
In 2020, SAVE celebrated a significant milestone - the purchase of 308-acres of farmland for future hands-on training. In 2021, the critical and life-changing work of the SAVE Farm received further support from John Deere through a donation of $200,000 to continue its collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and assist in the completion of training facilities.
Learn more about the SAVE Farm at https://www.thesavefarm.org/