Tennessee now has National Farmer Veteran Coalition chapter

A new program is helping veterans who have an interest in agriculture.

Ron Bridges takes care of his animals on Bee Ridges Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. At Bee Ridges, they raise goats, chickens and host agri-tourism events. Before he went into farming, Ron and his sons served in the military.

“We developed the saying ‘We’re healing the land as we heal ourselves,’ because my sons came back with the wounds of war, mental, some physical, and this farm has really helped them overcome those, and that got me interested in saying, ‘Well, who else can we help?’” Ron said.

Ron became involved with the National Farmer Veteran Coalition, and now he’s president of its new Tennessee chapter. The organization connects veterans and active duty military with the state’s agricultural resources.

Jim Artman also served and is now working with the Tennessee FVC. He says that farm work is a good fit for veterans.

Just being outside, working with your hands, being productive, producing a product, just having your hands in the soil is very therapeutic,” he said.