URBAN FARM TO OFFER THERAPEUTIC SERVICES TO VETS

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COLUMBIA - Columbia's Center for Urban Agriculture celebrated its new partnership with Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital with a ribbon cutting ceremony for Veterans Day. 

The Urban Farm will be a place for community and healing for Missouri veterans and their families starting in the Spring of 2020. 

"This is really the first kind of partnership like this of its kind," veteran Heather Brown said. 

Brown was stationed with the army reserves in Belton, Missouri and also served in Iraq. 

She currently serves as the Strategic Partnership Op for Truman VA Hospital.

The Urban Farm covers 1.3 acres of land at 1205 Smith Street. 

"We've got a lot of garden beds, blackberries, asparagus, chickens," Executive Director of the Urban Farm Billy Polansky said. "Veterans at the Truman VA Hospital will help manage the site through the aided work therapy program."

The farm will be a place to host a variety of health-focused, therapeutic programs for veterans.

"One of the things we really want to do is create a sense of community," Brown said. "The hospital isn't necessarily the most inviting all the time for the community aspect, but this place is."

Brown said she is most looking forward to bringing her family to the Urban Farm and bonding with other veterans in the spring. 

"Based off of congressional laws, we're not able to see every veteran, but here's the thing, at this place, we can," Brown said. 

The Urban Farm will relocate to the Agriculture Park as its new home base in the future. 

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