Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“As far back as WWI connecting soldiers with nature and farming has been used to treat the invisible wounds of war,” Mr. Brian Sales recently told members of the Senate Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism Committee.
“Back then it was called shell shock. Today it’s called PTSD. No matter what it’s called, its effects are the same and what was true then is true now. Veterans need help and help is what I am here to talk about.”
In a bipartisan effort to bring more veterans into agriculture, Senators Testin, Ringhand, Representatives Goyke and Brooks introduced legislation called the Wisconsin Veterans Farm Bill of 2017. The bill calls for several state agencies to work together assisting veterans in both urban and rural communities. The proposal seeks to provide education, technical assistance, employment, and mentorship including connecting existing farmers with veterans who want to learn farming. Over forty percent of the legislature supports the bill as cosponsors, including myself.
A U.S. Army Infantry and combat veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Kosovo, Mr. Sales captivated Senators with his story of how farming brought his life purpose.