Who We Are
Our values are a visible statement of who we are and what we stand for. They serve as our behavioral compass. We believe that our commitment to live out our values, mission, and vision make us a premier agricultural training organization.
Who We Serve
Our priority beneficiaries are servicemembers, veterans, and their families. As part of G.I. bill eligibility and in the interest of transitioning from service, we are broadening our customers to include all individuals with a passion for agriculture who can benefit from our services.
Where We Operate
We currently operate in Kansas near the Ft. Riley U.S. Army military installation and Kansas State University. We deliver our services through three primary locations - a business office in downtown Manhattan, KS, a beekeeping supply operation and shop in Manhattan, and a 308-acre farm near Riley, KS. We are working to develop a model for agricultural training that can be employed throughout the United States.
The concept of the SAVE organization grew out of a conversation between SAVE's founder Gary Lagrange and his daughter on October 20, 2012. Drawing on experiences with soldiers at Fort Riley participating in a greenhouse project while receiving therapy, the two envisioned a training farm for veterans and transitioning service members that provided integrated therapy for those suffering from both visible and invisible combat wounds.
The first few years of our organization saw a pilot training project with veterans and soldiers from Fort Riley's Warrior Transition Battalion, development of an initial board structure and bylaws, and official designation as a not-for-profit charitable educational corporation operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code.
Growth and successes of SAVE during our first five years include launching Golden Prairie Honey Farm, a beekeeping supply operation, the award of multiple federal grants, significantly increasing the number of beehive colonies, expanding partners and collaborators, hiring a Chief Executive Officer, and graduating the first cohort from an accredited training course. In 2020, SAVE celebrated a significant milestone - the purchase of 308-acres of farmland for future hands-on training.
SSG Clay Willis, a Soldier for Life Intern with SAVE, combines and loads soy beans from our farm during early November. Clay will farm in Georgia upon completion of his internship with SAVE.
PROGRESS TO DATE
Gained wide support. Federal, State, KSU, Farm agencies, government and non-government organizations, Sen Moran
Talented board; includes 8 KSU members; VA, all military services, farmers; 8 action committees.
- Academic Institutions. Cloud County Community College, Des Moines Area Community College, Kansas State University.
- Technical Schools. Manhattan Area Technical School.
- Medical. Konza Prairie Medical Clinic
- Conservation. The Nature Conservancy
- Governmental. USDA, KDA
DoD Career Skills
Soldier for Life (Fort Riley)
Over 400 vets have been helped to date
Evidence of relief from PTSD
80 placed on farms, 63 Interns have worked on farms
Farm Tours every Friday, over 50 participating farms
Purchased 320 acre farm, plus obtained use of another 200 acre farm
The Nature Conservancy and Conservation Fund providing fundraising support
Golden Prairie Honey Farms Business– Operational
Cloud County – Second year of Students enrolled in January