An Army Ranger veteran uses farming and animal raising as a method to help other veterans cope with PTSD. Jon Jackson was the keynote speaker at Carroll EMC’s Agribusiness Seminar at City Station on Monday. Jackson runs Comfort Farms on 20 acres outside Milledgeville. He said farming has saved his life and has the potential to save other vets.
Photo Credit: Anitra Ellison, Carroll EMC
“Have you ever tried talking to somebody in crisis,” Jackson Asked the audience of several hundred. “It is a tough thing to do because they only see how they have been wronged. They only see what is going down. So the farm is able to absorb that in a way that it turns it around and they can actually focus on something else.”
Comfort Farms has seen around 400 former soldiers come to work and experience what Jackson calls agritherapy.
“In the same way that we condition civilians into soldier, the farm can condition soldiers back to civilians.”
Jackson said the measure of success for his farm is not how much they grow or how many vets come to the farm but instead the quality of life of each vet that they serve.
While Jackson focuses on helping vets with PTSD, he has also been an advocate for local consumers to buy produce and animal products from Georgia farms.
“Georgians should be feeding Georgians,” said Jackson. “We are doing it at the grassroots level. Right now I have about 40 restaurants that we work with and I pull in a bunch of farmers from the area that we work with.”
Jackson has also consulted with 17 dairy farms in Eatonton to help preserve them with the intent to sell dairy cows as beef. He coined the phrase “Save dairy farms. Buy dairy beef.” He says some Georgia restaurants have taken notice and started purchasing their beef from Eatonton dairy farms.