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January 2021


After participating in the first virtual National Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) Stakeholders meeting, "2020 Veterans Farming Through Adversity," TNAP left energized to continue helping veterans with disabilities. FVC of TN became an official chapter in 2020 and TNAP team is proud to be part of it. Now TN can move forward with plans and keep growing the memberships. Staff would encourage all AgrAbility states to partner with their local FVC chapter or contact National FVC or National AgrAbility/Cindy Chastain to get more involved in helping veterans with disabilities who want to farm.

The Trosts are one of TN AgrAbility's families who are making a difference for other veterans impacted by disability! Stephanie and Michael are a wealth of knowledge about veteran programs and always a call away to help another veteran family! Now the Trosts are working to launch a new non-profit, Front Line Gardens. Their mission will be to help veterans and police officers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through a garden therapy program. They will be offering customized raised-bed gardens at the participant's residence, and will be building gardens at veteran locations such as vet centers and VA locations that offer counseling. In 2020, Front Line Gardens had their first two projects underway: helping a veteran in Chattanooga and a VA counseling center for vets. The vet center will use the garden for a group counseling program. 2021 plans for two more projects, one at the VA hospital in Johnson City and one for the veteran center in Monroe County. TNAP is helping promote and set up meetings regionally with Master Gardeners, police officers, and veterans - especially with FVC of TN meetings to invite people with PTSD to learn more information. TNAP will help Front Line Gardens with referrals and work to help veterans with the wounds of war that are visible and invisible. TNAP believes this therapy program will introduce folks to the benefits of gardening and farming and will fill a void in reaching veterans and police officers with PTSD. VA is offering the counseling expertise and participants must be enrolled in a VA therapy program. The VA veteran center has created a therapy program that will be offered through garden therapy. TNAP staff will keep you posted as the program grows!

Submitted by TN AgrAbility