Healing Heroes through Horses

aka New Freedom Farm   |   Buchanan, VA   |


Healing Heroes Through Horses, New Freedom Farm is open to all veterans/first responders and their family members. Each day 22 veterans, 5 first responders and 1 active duty member commit suicide in our country. ,New Freedom Farm was founded to help veterans who suffer from PTSD and or substance abuse. The program at New Freedom Farm is unstructured and works with a peer to peer camaraderie. Our heroes also have an option to engage with equines from wild mustangs to rescued horses. New Freedom Farm is a substance free facility. Our founder is a US Navy veteran and shares her experience, strength and hope with fellow veterans. The end goal is to personally empower our heroes and help them heal through the realizations of their own efforts. Saving one hero, one day at a time.

Notes from the nonprofit

Lois Dawn Magill bought the 13-acre property that would become New Freedom Farm a few days before Christmas 2015. Magill, who served in the Navy, clearly cares for her fellow veterans. What she envisioned with the creation of New Freedom Farm was a soothing, pastoral environment in which service members could talk freely about their service over a wild mustang, with little pressure to fit the therapeutic mold. The hope was that these wild mustangs would help veterans escape the hurt and open up to others with shared experiences.Having been a forensic nurse examiner, Magill herself has PTSD, an accumulation of trauma from her childhood as well as her proximity to suicides and victims with gunshot wounds. “That was really horrific work,” she says. Traditional therapy failed to help her. PTSD affects everyone differently, and it’s nearly impossible to understand for someone on the outside looking in. A relatable example is to imagine being in a traumatic car crash

Ruling year info



Ms. Lois Dawn Magill

Main address

6118 Lithia Road

Buchanan, VA 24066 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse, Dependency Prevention and Treatment (F20)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

Personal Social Services (P50)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Each day in the United States, 22 veterans or military personnel die by suicide. Many veterans return from war or conflict with invisible wounds, unable to find peace from PTSD or other circumstances. PTSD doesn't only impact one person, it impacts families and communities. Some veterans turn to drugs and/or alcohol to cope.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

New Freedom Farm Support Group

New Freedom Farm offers 12 step support groups 3 times a week for veterans suffering PTSD and or substance abuse.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders

Our wild mustang program pairs a veteran and or a first responder with a wild mustang for gentling and training.
New Freedom Farm offers equine facilitated learning to veterans and their families. This program offers many different activities involving the horse as a partner on the ground. This program is different from any other programs. New Freedom Farm follows an open program, participants do not have to make an appointment, and the farm is open to all heroes Tuesday-Saturday.Horses are congruent; they provide immediate, meaningful feedback of non-verbal behavior. The participants learn to recognize and give non-verbal communication cues to their horses through pressure, release, and posture. The program is set up to improve self and social awareness, personal responsibility, goal directed behavior, self-management, communication skills, and positive behavior.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders

Where we work


Citation for Exemplary Service 2019

The American Legion

Affiliations & memberships

United Horse Coalition 2020

Equus Foundation 2023 2023

Gold Star Patriots 2022

VFW Virginia Legacy Riders 2022

Number of veterans who report a decrease in depression

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders, Veterans

Related Program

New Freedom Farm Support Group

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The greatest reward we receive for our efforts comes to us when we are able to hear feedback from our heroes and their family that NFF is helping decrease their depression.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Lois Magill founded New Freedom Farm in 2016 out of her personal understanding of PTSD and the relief she experienced through time spent in the midst of her horses. Located on 28 acres in Buchanan, VA, the farm is home to 18 equines, including three mares & their foals saved from slaughter, a number of mini horses an mini donkeys, a hinny and a mule. New Freedom Farm is dedicated to helping those who have served our country along with their families by providing a safe place for veterans suffering from PTSD/TBI, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and secondary trauma to come and find respite. Our founder shows by example that it is possible to endure trauma, get sober and live a meaningful and fulfilling life. New Freedom Farm is healing humans through horses, and aims to reduce the number of military personnel suicides and provide support to veterans and their families.

Studies have shown that interacting with an animal, such as a horse, can be very helpful and calming to those suffering from PTSD. ​Visiting with the equines at New Freedom Farm helps with isolation, communication, trust, and social skills. New Freedom Farm has regular support meetings at its peaceful facility. New Freedom Farm participates in various outreach events in the community. New Freedom Farm regularly hosts community events, including an annual Thanksgiving meal, open to veterans, their families and anyone who might otherwise be alone on the holiday. New Freedom Farm acts as a liaison to support services for veterans, helping veterans in crisis or with other needs to find resources for help.

New Freedom Farm has the capabilities for making change by helping one veteran at a time. One hurting soul. New Freedom Farm is free for all veterans and their family members. New Freedom Farm is helping veterans heal by hosting three days a week support groups for veterans and their families. Our program at New Freedom Farm meets the needs of veterans suffering from PTSD, substance abuse and TBI by facilitating healing and recovery through the therapeutic programs we offer here at the farm. Many existing therapeutic farms focus on structured individual equine therapy. In contrast, we focus on peer-to-peer support, camaraderie among veterans and building a strong support system in a serene, clean, safe and sober environment.

New Freedom Farm was issued its certificate of incorporation by the commonwealth of Virginia as a Non-Profit on June 20, 2016. We were granted our 501c3 status in a letter of determination from the IRS dated July 01, 2016. Our Town of Buchanan, VA business license was issued on May 25, 2016 and is renewed annually, most recently January 04, 2017.
December 21, 2015 the property at 6118 Lithia Road, Buchanan, VA 24066 was purchased with a VA housing loan by Lois & Mitchell Fritz.
March 01, 2016 marked the arrival a rescued thoroughbred mare at the farm. Pregnant and in ill health, she would be the first of several horses we would ultimately save from slaughter. On March 31 of the same year she gave birth to a new foal giving rise to our friends and family acknowledging their new freedom and ultimately leading to the adoption of our name; New Freedom Farm.
At that time, Lois began the process of applying for non-profit status and raised funds for that purpose through the offering of New Freedom Farm t-shirts. This fundraising effort garnered enough support to turn our idea into a reality.
In October of 2016 New Freedom Farm hosted its first annual open house with a special ribbon cutting ceremony conducted by both Town and County officials. Veterans began using the farm in earnest at this point; yielding attendance on average of 20 veteran visits per month.
2017 has seen a substantial increase in veteran visits. Veterans regularly attend substance abuse meetings; participate in farming activities including equine therapy and fellowship. Today, we see upwards of 30 veterans per month with increasing numbers of regular repetitive visitors. Community group activities have occurred on a regular basis. Lois has received numerous awards and publicity for the work done here at New Freedom Farm.
What's Next:
Four goals we wish to achieve in 2018
• Increase funding for staff salaries / endowment
• Add a program director
• Host a total of three veteran retreats, one each in the months of June, July & August

Long Range Objectives
Within the next five years we plan to provide temporary housing enabling overnight therapeutic visits and to serve as interim housing for homeless veterans.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 02/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Alison Jorgenson

New Freedom Farm, Inc.®

Term: 2020 - 2024

Randy K Trimmer

State of NJ Fire Instructor

Nancy Hoit


Barbara Goodwin


Alison Jorgenson

Council of Community Services

Berney Jarosz

Greif Packaging, LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/1/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.