Veteran Programs

EquiCenter Veteran Programs and News

EquiCenter offers a variety of programs to veterans and seeks to create a welcoming community for individuals to achieve relief from some of their wounds, both seen and unseen. More information about each of our programs can be found on our program pages.

Below you can find news and updates about program offerings for veterans and how you or someone you know can join our community. 

Therapeutic Horticulture:

Learn the foundations of growing your own food. Whether you're a first-time gardener or experienced grower, there's a course for you! Programs range from a 6-week foundations course with support for starting a garden at home to specialized horticulture workshops that dive into topics such as growing space design, raised bed/container gardening, food preservation, beekeeping, and more!
These programs are available for FREE to veterans enrolled in the VA. 

If you have more detailed questions,
contact Katie at

BEElieve In Heroes:

EquiCenter's apiary was started as an extension project by one of our veteran participants. 

Air Force veteran Luann Van Peursem cares for our 5 bee hives, which pollinate the EC farm, and teaches workshops on the importance of these pollinators to our ecosystem to veterans, school groups, and community members.

More information and stories coming soon!


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Cooking with Heroes

Location: EquiCenter Farm

Join us for our next Cooking with Heroes Class, taught by Air Force veteran Chef Ellen, This class is open to any veteran. Chef Ellen will engage participants in some fun as we prepare and cook a healthy meal and then everyone will enjoy lunch together. Please register, space is limited!

Mission Mustang

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and EquiCenter, partnered to develop a national model called Mission Mustang™.  This program’s purpose is to document the process of gentling and training wild horses and burros for eventual placement into loving homes, including integration into other therapeutic equestrian programs designed to improve the health and wellbeing of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injuries, and other physical and mental wounds.

Heroes & Horses

The program offers therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship as an effective tool for improving muscle stimulation, strength, coordination, flexibility, posture and balance for the wounded veteran’s physical injuries. 

In addition to the physical benefits, therapeutic equestrian activities help with often less visible wounds experienced by veterans, including Post Traumatic Stress  (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).​

Coffee & Canines

Location: EquiCenter Farm

Interested in improving your relationship with your personal dog and exploring new ways to approach training? Join us for coffee and doughnuts at our monthly Coffee & Canines meeting to enjoy a casual discussion on all things dogs! Whether working on self-training a service animal or enjoying your companion pet, this event is a great opportunity to share your successes and troubleshoot challenges in a positive, judgment-free setting. The trainer led discussion will be accompanied by EquiCenter therapy dogs that will be available to demonstrate relevant techniques and methods that are easily translated to your pup back home!


NOTE: This meeting is not a training event. We love dogs, but please do not bring personal animals to this discussion. 


Questions: Chad Van Gorder at (585) 624-7772


Refer a veteran to the EquiCenter

To refer a veteran to EquiCenter or for more more information about joining any of EquiCenter's veteran programs, including Heroes and Horses, Mission Mustang, Cooking with Heroes, Harvested by Heroes, canine intervention and more, please contact: