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Farm Tour Brings Veteran Families to Wind Swept Meadows

For veterans and military families interested in learning about a variety of farming techniques and farm business management, tours of working farms can offer important insight and inspiration.

On September 19, 2018, a farm tour was held at Wind Swept Meadows Farm in Watertown, NY. The tour was hosted by the Small Farms Program (SFP) Farm Ops partners at the Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).

This month, a group of about 30 people — including active duty military personnel stationed at Fort Drum, as well as retired military service members — were welcomed to Wind Swept Meadows, a 465-acre farm owned and operated by Delta and Tom Keeney.

The Keeney’s run a popular roadside stand with a wide variety of fruit, flowers, vegetables, baked goods and crafts for sale. In addition, they have USDA inspected beef available for sale year round, raise chickens, ducks and turkey, coordinate a large CSA, and offer a small therapeutic agriculture program.

One highlight of the day was a homemade lunch featuring ingredients all sourced from the farm. The meal brought the entire group together for a warm meal under the barn roof.

“I thought the tour had a great turn out and one of the most diverse group of attendees I’ve seen yet,” said Alyssa Couse, agriculture outreach educator at Jefferson County CCE. “From active duty soldiers to military wives, to young children and several female veterans, the farm tour offered something for everyone.”

As the day’s events came to a close, several people asked when the next farm tour would be… Stay tuned!

For more information about the Small Farms Program’s Farm Ops project, visit the project site.

Kacey Deamer

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Cornell Small Farms Program’s communications specialist. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.

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