About New Freedom Farm
In the United States, veterans commit suicide at a rate of 22 individuals per day.
The farm itself is a safe place for veterans and first responders suffering from trauma, depression/anxiety, substance use, and other issues. Staff and volunteers engage visitors to the farm by encouraging therapeutic interaction with the farm's equine
residents, farm chores, and peer-to-peer support. These visits help veterans and first responders with feelings of isolation, communication, trust, and social skills. The end-goal of these interactions is to empower veterans and first responders to heal by
realizing their efforts and contributions and assisting with reintegration into civilian life.
Just as New Freedom Farm is a safe place for humans, it is also a dedicated safe haven for its equine residents. The horses and other animals that live on the farm have come from their own traumatic situations, including abandonment and auction. The animals
that reside at New Freedom Farm are what make the programs unique and will remain permanent inhabitants of the farm. One exception to this is the wild mustangs that make their way to this idyllic farm. Veterans chosen to participate in the Wild Mustang
program may be eligible to assume responsibility for the animal if it is deemed appropriate for all.
The farm also offers unique service opportunities, including the New Freedom Farm Honor Guard and the mandated service program for individuals referred through local courts.
New Freedom Farm is dedicated to helping those who have served our country and their families. Veterans and first responders are never charged for their visits to the farm.
New Freedom Farm is a nonprofit organization founded by veteran and retired forensic nurse investigator Lois Dawn Magill in 2016. Lois founded New Freedom Farm out of her personal understanding of PTSD and the therapeutic benefits of being around horses. Located on 26 level acres in Buchanan, VA, the farm is home to a number of equines, including wild mustangs, mares and their foals saved from slaughter, mini horses, and mini donkeys, among others.
New Freedom Farm is dedicated to helping those who have served our country and their families. Since 2016, the farm's residents and programs have grown and continue to find new ways to serve veterans, first responders, and their families.
New Freedom Farm provides refuge and rehabilitation from trauma to veterans and first responders, and equines, including the American Mustang.
New Freedom Farm envisions a future where all veterans and first responders are empowered, healthy, and supported, and all equines have peaceful homes.
We are committed to providing an environment in which everyone experiences a sense of belonging and worth. We honor relationships and take responsibility for fostering trust and respect.
We support, trust, and empower staff, volunteers, and visitors to the farm to further New Freedom Farm's mission.
We are trustworthy and reliable. We welcome accountability and conduct our business with honesty and transparency.
We honor the intrinsic dignity, autonomy, and worth of each person. We are considerate of other's feelings, values, and points of view.
We believe that society benefits from the contributions of people with diverse personal characteristics (including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, age, geographic location, sexual orientation, gender, and disability).
We believe that all people are entitled to respect, dignity, equality, safety, and security.
We are committed to pursuing the highest possible standards at every level of the organization. We are committed to putting forth our personal and professional best.
Central to the idea of New Freedom Farm is 'sanctuary.' The farm is a dedicated safe-place for healing humans and horses. Much like the veterans the organization serves, the resident horses have come from stress-filled situations. Having been abandoned to an auction circuit that often delivers them to the hands of "kill buyers," these animals have seen their fair share of fear and trauma. It is the essence of the horse, combined with their journeys to the farm, which makes this program unique. The horse's
sensitivity delivers honesty and truth for the veteran that is experiencing difficulty trusting others.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental
health condition triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event. Symptoms of PTSD include agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, and social isolation. As many as 20% of veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom) have been diagnosed with PTSD. Thirty percent of Vietnam Vets have PTSD. US Veterans commit suicide at an average rate of 22 per day. Many veterans have PTSD and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), resulting in social isolation and withdrawal.
Studies have shown that interacting with an animal, such as a horse, can be therapeutic and calming to individuals with PTSD. Visiting with the equines at New Freedom Farm helps veterans with isolation, communication, trust, and social skills.
Visiting the Farm
New Freedom Farm is located just a few miles from Interstate 81 at 6118 Lithia Road, Buchanan, VA 24066. The farm is private property and has standard operating hours in which visitors and volunteers are welcome. The organization reserves the right to refuse admission to any person for any reason.
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