Main Article Content
Military veterans returning from war face challenges when re-entering civilian life. Our aim was to evaluate how effective an agricultural entrepreneurial training program (The Farm and Education Treatment Program) was to equip 90 returning military veterans to become self-employed in food and agriculture and secondarily to support health. While there are several agricultural entrepreneurial training programs available, there are few with the breadth, depth, and empirical outcomes of the present study. Our method used eight measures to assess pretest-posttest differences associated with becoming successfully employed in production agriculture. We assessed pretest-posttest changes before and after returning military veteran beginning farmers participated in our year-long, 188-200-hour Farm and Education Treatment Program. Our program trained two cohorts per year each with 15 participants over three years for a total of 90 participants. Especially during COVID-19 with virtual rather than in-person training, our drop-out rate was high. By the end of the three-year program, 40 military veteran beginning farmers completed the program and provided usable pretest-posttest data for a 44% response rate. Almost 88% (n =35/40) of participants were self-employed in agriculture either full-time (60%) or part-time (28%). When they began, two were full-time farmers/ranchers, one was in agricultural business, and one was a part-time farmer/rancher. Our participants’ greatest statistically significant improvements were on the Skills Assessment measure with Farming Skill Level, Crop Skill Level, and Livestock Skill Level subscales, on the Entrepreneurial Self Efficacy Marketing, Innovation, Financial Control, and Total subscales, and on the Independent Living and Working levels. These measures linked well with the overall program goal, intervention, and outcomes because the bulk of the program addressed these variables. There was no change in physical or psychological domains. We concluded that face-to-face, in-person teaching of the program was much preferred and more effective than virtual, remote teaching during COVID-19. Also eight measures with 671 items are far too many. Future researchers are encouraged to expand the training with practical, evidence-based behavioral health strategies that participants can use to improve their behavioral health and quality of life.
The Medical Research Archives grants authors the right to publish and reproduce the unrevised contribution in whole or in part at any time and in any form for any scholarly non-commercial purpose with the condition that all publications of the contribution include a full citation to the journal as published by the Medical Research Archives.
2. Thomas JL, Wilk JE, Riviere LA., et al. Prevalence of mental health problems and functional impairment among active component and national guard soldiers 3 and 12 months following combat in Iraq. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(6):614-623. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.54.
3. Blau G, Miller G. Comparing work-related correlates of life satisfaction for combat versus non-combat military veterans. J Ed Learn. 2020;9:31. 10.5539/jel.v9n6p31.
4. Ward BK. Major barriers facing veteran transition from military to civilian workforce: Suggested strategies. Int J Bus Pub Admin. 2020;17(2):60.
5. Bond GR, Al-Abdulmunem M, Drake RE, et al. Transition from military service: Mental health and well-being among service members and veterans with service-connected disabilities. J Behav Health Serv Res. 2022;49:282-298. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-021-09778-w
6. Taylor S, Miller B, Tallapragada M. Vogel M. Veterans’ transition out of the military and knowledge of mental health disorders. 2020;6(1):85-95 Taylor.
7. Donoghue DJ, Mays AR, Hale M, et al. Armed to Farm: Developing training programs for military veterans in agriculture. J Rural Soc Sci. 2014;29(2):82-93.
8. Oster C, Morello A, Venning A, Redpath P, Lawn S. The health and wellbeing needs of veterans: A rapid review. BMC Psychiatry. 2017;17(1):414. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-017-1547-0
9. Romaniuk M, Kidd C. The psychological adjustment experience of reintegration following discharge from military service: A systemic review. J Milit Vet Health. 2018;26(2):60-73.
10. Ahern J, Worthen M, Masters J, Lippman SA, Ozer EJ, Moos R. The challenges of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans’ transition from military to civilian life and approaches to reconnection. Plos One. 2015;10(7). htpps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128599
11. Hayden S, Buzzetta M. HOPE for the FUTURE: Career counseling for military personnel and veterans with disabilities. Career Plan Adult Devel J. 2014;30(3):52-64.
12. Dias CSL, Rodrigues RG, Ferreira JJ. What’s new in the research on agricultural entrepreneurship? J Rural Stud. 2018;65:99-115. https://doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2018.11.003
13. Heinz AJ, Freeman MA, Harpaz-Rotem I, Pietrzak RH. American military veteran entrepreneurs: A comprehensive profile of demographic, service history, and psychosocial characteristics. Milit Psych (American Psychological Association). 2017;29(6):513–523. https://doi.org/3267/10.1037/mil0000195
14. Kerrick SA, Cumberland D, Church-Nally M, Kemelgor B. Military veterans marching towards entrepreneurship: An exploratory mixed methods study. Int J Man Ed. 2014;12(3):469–478. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.ijme.2014.05.006
15. Cater III JJ, Young M. U.S. veterans as emerging entrepreneurs: Self-efficacy, intentions and challenges. J Dev Entrepren. 2020;25(2). N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1084946720500120
16. Brown C, Besterman-Dahan K, Chavez M, Njoh E, Smith W. "It gave me an excuse to get out into society again": Decreasing veteran isolation through a community agricultural peer support model. J Vet Stud. 2016;1(1):163-204. http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v1i1.42
17. Besterman-Dahan K, Chavez M, Njoh E. Rooted in the community: Assessing the reintegration effects of agriculture on rural veterans. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2018;99(2)S72-S78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2017.06.035
18. Kelley RJ, Waliczek TM, Le Duc FA. The effects of greenhouse activities on psychological stress, depression, and anxiety among university students who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. HortScience horts. 2017;52(12):1834-1839. Retrieved June 25, 2023, from https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI12372-17
19. Meore A, Shengnan S, Byma L, et al. Pilot evaluation of horticultural therapy in improving overall wellness in veterans with history of suicidality. Complement Ther Med. 2021;59:102728. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2021.102728
20. Abraham KM, Chang MM, Van T, Resnick SG, Zivin K. Employment after Vocational Rehabilitation predicts decreased health care utilization in veterans with mental health diagnoses. Mil Med. 2021;186(9-10):850-857. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usab113. PMID: 33825897.
21. Jackman DM, Fetsch RJ, Collins CL. Quality of life and independent living and working levels of farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Disab Health J. 2016;9:226-233. doi: http ://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2015.09.002
22. Fetsch RJ, Jackman DM, Collins CL. Assessing changes in quality of life and independent living and working levels among AgrAbility farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Disabil Health J. 2018;11(2):230-236. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.08.001
23. Fetsch RJ, Turk P. A quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of USDA's AgrAbility project. Disabil Health J. 2018;11(2):249-255. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.10.004
24. Fetsch, RJ, Collins CL. The effects of AgrAbility on the mental/behavioral health of farmers and ranchers with functional limitations: A comparison study. Med Res Arch. 2018;6(2):1-16. http://www.journals.ke-i.org/index.php/mra/article/view/1691/1762
25. Sayer NA, Frazier P, Orazem RJ, et al. Military to Civilian Questionnaire: A measure of postdeployment community reintegration difficulty among veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs medical care. J Trauma Stress. 2011;24(6):660-670.
26. Chen CC, Greene PG, Crick, A. Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish entrepreneurs from managers? J Bus Ventur. 1998;13:295-316.
27. Steger MF, Dik BJ, Duffy RD. Measuring meaningful work: The Work and Meaning Inventory (WAMI). J Career Assess. 2012;20(3):322-337.
28. Cohen SR, Hassan SA, Lapointe BJ, Mount BM. Quality of life in HIV disease as measured by the McGill Quality of Life questionnaire. AIDS. 1996;10:1421-1427.
29. Cohen SR, Mount BM, Bruera E, Provost M, Rowe J, Tong K. Validity of the McGill Quality of Life questionnaire in the palliative care setting: A multi-centre Canadian study demonstrating the importance of the existential domain. Palliat Med 1997;11:3-20.
30. Cohen, J. Statistical power and analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). 1988. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
31. Morgan GA, Leech NL, Gloeckner GW, Barrett KC. IBM SPSS for introductory statistics: Use and interpretation (Fourth Edition). 2011. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.