They’ve traded tours of duty for tending fields and animals.

A group of veterans are applying their hard work ethic to the Equicenter farm in Honeoye Falls, managing crops from seed to market to table. They’ve just finished planting nearly 7,000 cloves of garlic, an award-winning crop for the VA’s Whole Health Initiative and its partnership with Cornell University’s Farm Ops division.

Veterans like Brian Williams believe having responsibilities and something for their hands to do provide a sense of purpose they haven’t felt since returning home.

“I think anytime we get to touch the oil, but also share the opportunity to learn something,” said Williams, a navy veteran. “It works because it’s service again.”

Cornell University's Farm Ops division just announced significant support for the Equicenter Farm, allowing the program to expand cooking, farming, and animal training.