“After suffering a traumatic brain injury from my service in Iraq, which left me also suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I did not think I would ever be able to find a job in the civilian world that could suit my needs,” states Matt Soldano, a US Marine Corps veteran.

10457370_10152879883618696_7435925542165270405_oAfter returning home from four years of service, Matt worked several different jobs as he transitioned back into civilian life. One of these jobs sparked an interest in farming.

Matt began Southtown Farms LLC in Mahwah, NJ in 2010. He raises chickens, turkeys, goats, and vegetables. “When I am working with my animals and working on my land, I am no longer in a constant state of panic, I trust people, and I feel very good about the direction my life is going. I am proud of what I do. I enjoy the fact that day by day I am bringing healthy, safe, and clean food to my community.”

Matt was awarded with a Bon Appetit Good Food Fellowship through the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, which helped to develop his business.  He has also just been accepted into the Fellowship Fund re-apply program. Matt’s determination and passion has allowed him to grow his farm into a sustainable endeavor.