USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION
JOBS & EDUCATION Terrell Spencer moves a broiler pen, ensuring his chickens get fresh pasture daily and eliminating the need for antibiotics.
“There is something really therapeutic about clearing land and taking care of animals. It was powerful to go from such a destructive place to something restorative.” — Terrell Spencer, farmer
The Spencer family CARLA SPENCER
as a farmer, Spencer has several employees, raises nearly 15,000 birds a year and has developed a large client base of chefs and shoppers who value his humane, all-natural approach to livestock husbandry. He also keeps busy mentoring other veterans along their healing path, using a combination of peer-to-peer support and the grueling, yet rewarding, work of running a farm. Spencer has hosted more than 100 veterans at Across the Creek, some who stay for months at a time in informal or paid internships, and some who
have even gone on to run their own farms. Spencer also helped to create Armed to Farm (ncat.org/armedtofarm), a weeklong boot camp that teaches farmers and ranchers about sustainable and organic agriculture, how to get started in farming and how to qualify for government programs. “It was something that would have really helped me out,” Spencer said. He developed the program through the National Center for Appropriate Technology CO N T I N U E D