DALLAS (KDAF) — There are plenty of ways to relieve stress and look within yourself. For some that is working out at the gym, for others that is yoga, but for many that is farming.

One Dallas organization is taking that premise to the next level and uses farming to help our nation’s veterans.

Farmers Assisting Returning Military aims to establish meaning in the lives of veterans through agricultural therapeutic rehab and training while leading the change in America’s food system.

This was all started by a veteran named Stephen Smith.

“Upon returning from my service, I was looking for something else that I could do to serve and gave me some purpose. [I wanted] something to do every day that when I woke up, I felt good about,” Smith said. “My buddy, James was getting out of the military, and I was having a baby. I wanted to make sure my kid ate good food. So, I grew my own food, and [soon] my front yard became an orchard.”

Through finding his own purpose in farming, Smith soon realized that he could use this moment to help other veterans find their purpose.

“We started a veteran owned urban farm. Then we started Farmers Assisting Returning Military, because if it gave us purpose and help us, why can’t we help more [people],” Smith said.

From his own life and the lives of others, Smith says the thing that makes farming so therapeutic is the ability to be outside and exercise.

“You have to get your exercise your sunshine. There’s something about the dirt, you know, the enzymes, the bacteria you’re absorbing that into your body. You’re connecting to the Earth. Literally grounding yourself to it with your knees on it and there’s something more about it, I can’t really put my finger on it other than it just works for me,” Smith said.

Often what veterans miss about the service is the community of people that they meet in the service, something Hyiat El-Jundi, executive director of Farmers Assisting Returning Military, says helps the people they serve.

“[With] being on a farm, there’s something really special about digging into the Earth and getting what we call ‘dirt therapy’, but doing it alongside of your peers creates a more special moment because you feel like you feel kind of at peace. So you feel more comfortable opening up, talking up to folks,” El-Jundi said.

To learn more about Farmers Assisting Returning Military, click here.