Barbara Farmer was born into a military family who understood sacrifice for God and Country. Her father was one of 15 kids, nine of which served in the military. He was a Marine, and she followed in his footsteps.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps, she was hired to work for the Department of Energy on a top-secret program for the F117A Stealth Fighter. She married Mike Farmer, one of the first pilots to fly that plane.
Life took them to Arizona where she began volunteering at one of the hospitals in the area. After 2 years of volunteering, she was hired to lead the program. She fell in love with the concept of making life a little better for others. While leading the volunteer program and gift shop at two hospitals, she created several award-winning programs including the Summer Volunteer Program which was a leadership academy/career exploration program that prepared students for the workforce. Many of the students received major scholarships, and her very first student returned to her hospital to do his rotation as a doctor.
Over 2,000 students participated in her Summer Volunteer Program. Her program won some acclaim with the 2014 Arizona Governor’s Award, and she was invited to The White House. She decided to copyright the program and sold it to other hospitals throughout the country to help them start their own programs.
Through her work, she began to understand the value of pet visitations for patients and developed a pet visitation program that was one of the largest in Arizona. “The icing on the cake for me was the veteran visitation program where I recruited veterans to visit veteran patients in our hospitals,” says Barbara. She worked with the IT department to develop a daily report of all the veterans in the hospital and would deploy volunteers to visit and provide resources. “Each veteran received a small American flag, which was the first thing they saw when they woke up and the last thing they saw when they went to sleep. We identified patient rooms with a small magnet which would be placed on the outside of the patient room for several reasons: the staff would know who our veterans were and more importantly security would respond to situations in these rooms completely differently if they knew the patient might be suffering from PTSD.”
“The successes I achieved in my jobs I can attribute to my skills learned while serving in the Marine Corps.,” says Barbara. “I learned the importance of attention to detail. Every program I create is thought out detail by detail.”
When she retired from her hospital job, she began getting requests from hospitals, nonprofits, museums and civic organizations for help creating volunteer programs. “I decided to become a consultant to help others. I had no clue where to start, after being so intentional all my life, I decided that my plan was to be open and leave it up to God, whatever came my way was meant to be and my plan was to just be open and accepting,” says Barbara. And that’s when she found The Jonas Project. “I Googled how to set up an LLC for a veteran and The Jonas Project was the first thing I found. I was curious and was overwhelmed to learn of the story behind this fantastic organization and what they had to offer veterans. I left a voice message for John and he called me right back, we probably talked for over an hour.” Since then, Barbara has been working with her mentor, Bob Skidmore on B. Farmer Consulting. “He understands me and has given me great advice.”
“This is just the beginning of my relationship with The Jonas Project, opportunities are starting to come my way and I feel confident and proud to be chosen to serve! Semper Fi!”