CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Hershel Woody Williams VA Medical Center and Marshall University, has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Rural Health.
This grant was awarded under the Whole Health Initiative which aims to improve veterans’ health through holistic approaches. Under the grant proposal, the Hershel Woody Williams VA Medical Center will establish a pilot program to provide agricultural training to veterans.
This training will provide participants the skill sets required to pursue agricultural vocations while also addressing behavioral and mental healthcare needs. The pilot project will focus on improving the health of those who participate through environmental factors, fostering better relationships and establishing healthier diets.
The Huntington VA Medical Center Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services will identify healthcare eligible veterans interested in agriculture pursuits. From there, the project will provide an introduction to diversified agriculture training and hands-on instruction opportunities.
WVDA staff will provide production, business and market planning for program participants.