Central Oregon Veterans Ranch (COVR) is interested in the participation and support of the business community for this innovative venture. COVR is a new, federally-recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Bend that aims to build a “working ranch that restores purpose and spirit for Veterans of all ages.”
Founded in 2013 by a group of veterans and passionate citizens, COVR is raising money to develop a working ranch that will provide meaningful opportunities to veterans for learning, peer engagement and a residence with 24 hour staff for those no longer able to care for themselves (due to age or terminal illness).
COVR is currently in contract to purchase a 19 acre property with mountain views and 12 acres of irrigation located between Bend and Redmond.
The plan is to provide learning and volunteer opportunities to veterans of all ages through active participation in growing gardens, preserving a heritage breed of sheep, daily operations at the ranch, and involvement with veterans living in the home on the property.
“Our goal is to improve the quality of life for veterans of all ages through various entry points of involvement, be that volunteering, learning, or living at the ranch,” says Founder Alison Perry.
COVR recognizes the importance of veterans helping veterans, and the power of intergenerational sharing and learning. Veterans living on the property will be in an environment where they are valued, understood, and engaged.
The vision of COVR evolved out of Perry’s six years of clinical work with veterans at the Portland VA Medical Center and the Bend VA Clinic. Perry started working at the VA Clinic in Central Oregon in 2007 and began to see differences in the needs of rural veterans and urban veterans, including anatural inclination towards more organic forms of healing and wellness such as community, camaraderie, physical activity and working with land and animals. In recent years multiple veteran-farmer organizations have “sprouted up” throughout the nation, affirming the restorative nature of farm and ranch work.
COVR is considering growing hops and interested in generating revenue streams through niche markets as well as opportunities for veterans to sell or donate food in the local food system; farmers’ markets, restaurants, and food banks.
To obtain the 19 acre property between Bend and Redmond COVR has kicked off a capital campaign with a Honor A Veteran In Your Life fundraiser and goal of $75,000 by Veterans’ Day. COVR’s total capital campaign goal in order to open doors for services to veterans in the year 2015 is $750,000.
Central Oregon Veterans Ranch is interested in the participation and support of the business community for this innovative venture. COVR invites Central Oregon businesses to help “build” the ranch through assistance with our property renovation, innovative ideas about harvesting and selling products, participation with local vendors, advice and collaboration regarding our sustainable agriculture operation, and opportunities for corporate sponsorships and partnerships.