Our Mission is to provide qualified veterans of the US Armed Forces, especially disabled veterans, women and minorities who are socially disadvantaged in many areas of traditional agriculture, with opportunities within the diverse and growing area of sustainable agriculture. Through skill development, experience, opportunity enhancement and networking, we provide veterans with ways to achieve personal growth; physical, emotional and spiritual healing; confidence and independance; and economic success, while directly impacting depressed and struggling rural communities with an infusion of hard working, dedicated, motivated, and innovative employees and employers that will result in long term economic and social improvement.
- Create opportunities for veterans to get involved in agribusiness. - Provide veterans with skills necessary to succeed in agribusinesss. - Apply principles of sustainability across the full spectrum of agriculture practices. - Emphasize conservation and stewardship of all precious rural resources. - Concentrate on small-scale success programs. - Seek innovative practices and effective technologies to maximize productivity. - UtiIilize renewable energy alternatives and energy efficiency across the production cycle to reduce or eliminate one of the costliest aspects of agriculture. - Mitigate losses through effective diversification and value-added production. - Specialize in unique, high quality, high profitability products. - Market both programs and products specifically to local markets
Our programs will be provided to qualified veterans free of charge and include the creation of opportunity centers where veterans can learn and experience a wide variety of agribusiness possibilities. A program of professional seminars and symposiums on all facets of agribusiness by recognized experts and qualified practioners who can openly and candidly provide insight into the requirements, challenges, and rewards of the rural life style. A program of hands-on experience with the different types of sustainable agriculture to enable veterans to "test drive" various agricultural opportunities to determine if the demands and prerequisites are suitable to their individual capabilities, desires and dreams. Programs to innovate new techniques and to adapt new technologies to small-scale, sustainable agriculture to maximize efficiency and profitability. Researching, testing, and applying all applicable renewable energy systems to sustainable agricultural requirements to find practical, reasonable solutions to energy consumption requirements of small-scale agribusiness. Wellness programs that address the special neeeds of veterans, disabled veterans and their families that emphasize healing psychic wounds through interaction with the land, nuturing, and caring for plants and animals, and healthful living in a rural environment.
Our Vision is to establish Swords Into Plowshares chapters in rural communities around the country that have veteran populations and/or military installations to provide economic development to the areas that supply the vast majority of the young men and women who defend our nation while providing new opportunites for veterans who want to secure their livelihood and future within these communities.
Our Founder, LTC David Wood USAR (Ret), is a proud veteran of the US Army/Army Reserve who served over 16 years on Active Duty and almost 13 years in Reserve roles. During his service, he served three combat tours, including both Iraq and Afghansitan, and served in various staff and command assignments. Upon retirement, LTC Wood felt that his service to our nation and to the wonderful men and women with whom he had served was not yet complete. He felt strongly that he needed to serve the needs of veterans, especially those who were disabled during their service, to find a way to wholeness and self betterment. Living within a rural area, he was acutely aware of the plight of many rural communities that suffered from a lack of opportunities, skilled and dedicated new workers, and investment in the agribusinesses that nourish them. He also saw the benefits of a healthful rural lifestyle to those with mental and physical scars resulting from selfless service to our country. Swords Into Plowshares harnesses the opportunities of agriculture to help, heal, build, and invigorate BOTH hurting and disadvantaged veterans and rural communities!