Resources for Veterans Interested in Agriculture

These are the educational, employment, training and funding opportunities that we have found to help veterans who want to return to or start a career in agriculture. Have a resource you would like us to add? Please contact us.

Additional resources for veterans with disabilities are shown below. Link to additional resources.

Program Name 
Farmer Education Program Resource Guides
http://www.albafarmers.org

The Farmer Education Program Resource Guides, created by the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), are the result of many years’ work to provide and improve its educational programs.
Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
http://www.farmvetco.org/farmer-veteran-fellowship/

Farmer Veteran Coalition runs an in house small grants program called the Fellowship Fund. The purpose of the Fellowship Fund is to assist veterans beginning a career in food and farming through small grants for education or farming purposes.
FVC Farmer Veteran Coalition
http://www.farmvetco.org/

The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) provides a wide variety of services designed to assist veterans in making a successful transition into an agricultural career.
Integrated poultry, livestock and agroforestry production and training for new and beginning farmers and ranchers
https://attra.ncat.org/uofa/

We have created a learning and production program that uses elements and strategies that are easy and inexpensive to implement, keep and mange while providing fast returns and multiple marketing opportunities (poultry, small ruminants and agroforestry) while using ecologically and financially sustainable strategies.
Michigan State University Vets to Ag
http://www.canr.msu.edu/institute_of_ag_tech/vets_to_ag

Vets to Ag is a unique program to train homeless U.S. veterans to work in agriculture. Training is coordinated by the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology and is delivered by experts from MSU faculty and staff, including MSU Extension, Kellogg Biological Station, and the private sector.
NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Competitive Grants Program
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/bfrdp/bfrdp.html

Beginning farmer education for adult and young audiences in the United States can be generally traced back to the advent of the 1862 and the 1890 Morrill Land Grant Acts. But for the first time, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub .L. No. 110-234, Section 7410), appropriated $75 million for FY 2009 to FY 2012 to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.
SBA Agriculture Business Guide
http://www.sba.gov/content/agriculture

Starting and running an agricultural business involves a lot of paperwork, regulations and technical know-how. This guide provides information about government programs that help new and existing agricultural businesses start, expand, obtain financing, and comply with laws and regulations.
SBA Direct
http://www.sba.gov/sba-direct/

“SBA Direct is a dynamic Web tool that allows users to personalize their experience on SBA.gov. Just by answering a few simple questions about your (planned) business, SBA Direct brings the targeted resources you need to start, operate and grow your small business – directly to your desktop.”
Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Loan
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/sdaloans11.pdf

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans to approved socially disadvantaged applicants to buy and operate family-size farms and ranches."
Soldier 2 Civilian
http://s2c.crockettpolicy.org/

"Rural areas provide a large percentage of our military forces; fully 40% of those who serve in the military come from rural America. The planned drawdown in the military means that many veterans will be returning to rural areas across the country over the next five years.

But good paying jobs in rural areas remain scarce. Rural unemployment remains higher than the national average. The planned drawdown in the military is set to aggravate the already tough employment situation with approximately 400,000 vets set to come home in the next few years.

Our goal is to get ahead of the wave."
SSDPG Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_SSDPG.html

“Formerly known as the Small, Minority Producer Grant Program, the primary objective of the SSDPG program is to provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers through eligible cooperatives and associations of cooperatives."
Start2Farm
http://www.start2farm.gov/

The Start2Farm site and program are a project of the National Agricultural Library in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation. Start2Farm is funded through a USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Beginning Farming and Ranching Development Program grant and was developed to assist people new to farming or ranching and those who have less than 10 years’ experience.
TIP Transition Incentives Program Net
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=online&subject=landing&topic=tin

“Farm Service Agency has developed this website to provide a tool to connect retired or retiring land owners or operators with beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers who are interested in the Transition Incentives Program (TIP).”
Veteran Farmers Project
http://www.cfra.org/veteran_farmers_project

The Veteran Farmers Project provides veterans with the business and agriculture education that can help them become successful farmers. By creating sound farm businesses that tap into high value markets, returning veterans can reintegrate gracefully and fruitfully into America’s rural communities.
Veterans Farm
http://veteransfarm.org/

"Our mission is to help disabled combat veterans reintegrate back into society through the use of horticulture therapy, while working together in a relaxed, open environment. Veterans will work as a team to develop solutions that will enable them to overcome physical and mental barriers."
Veterans Green Jobs
http://veteransgreenjobs.org/

"Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit organization, and our mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. We are working to reverse the high unemployment trend among military veterans by linking them with training and employment opportunities in the green sector."
VHA Office of Rural Health (ORH)
http://www.ruralhealth.va.gov/index.asp

The mission of ORH is to improve access and quality of care for enrolled rural and highly rural Veterans by developing evidence-based policies and innovative practices to support the unique needs of enrolled Veterans residing in geographically remote areas.


Additional Resources for Veterans with Disabilities

Program Name 
AgrAbility
http://agrability.org/

The vision of AgrAbility is to enable a high quality lifestyle for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. Through education and assistance, AgrAbility helps to eliminate (or at least minimize) obstacles that inhibit success in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations. AgrAbility is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and consists of a National Project and State/Regional Projects (currently serving 24 states), each involving collaborative partnerships between land grant universities and various nonprofit disability services organizations.
NIFA AgrAbility Program Page
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/nea/ag_systems/in_focus/workforce_if_agrability.html

AgrAbility is a consumer-driven USDA-funded program that provides vital education, assistance, and support to farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Through the combined dedication and expertise of the Cooperative Extension System and nonprofit disability organizations, AgrAbility helps thousands of determined individuals overcome the barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture
AbilityOne
http://www.abilityone.org/

AbilityOne® is the single largest employer of people that are blind or have significant disabilities. AbilityOne’s diverse national workforce includes more than 1,500 military veterans with disabilities. These critical employees are able to draw on their exceptional military training and valuable on-the-job experience and leverage those skills in their new careers.