Farming has a mission-driven focus, similar to the focus of the military – it is driven by the mission rather than the time clock. ~ Not Forgotten Outreach Farm
Across the nation, more and more veterans and their families are transitioning from the military world into the agriculture world by becoming farmers.
Farming resonates with veterans for many reasons, here are a few reason why:
- A sense of purpose: veterans desire to continue doing something meaningful and that will have a positive impact on the community around them when they leave the military service. They are mission-minded and have a powerful work ethic, having physical and mental endurance and perseverance.
- Risk and reward: uncontrollable variables can cause setbacks, requiring resolutions and resilience. The rewards are tangible when the daily tasks are done right.
- The therapy of living things: farmers are surrounded by landscapes of plants and animals, engaging in nature and it’s life cycle as an integral part rather than a spectator. Studies show that engagement with nature reduces anxiety and a host of other benefits.
Cooperative Extension and their land-grant colleges and universities are helping to support our veterans who are making this transition into agriculture by providing resources and research-based education programs, workshops, and projects specifically for farming.
UF/IFAS Extension – Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises Program provides programs to ensure farms remain vital to communities in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
Purdue Extension – their Beginning Farmers program provides a page on their website with programs provided specially for farmer veterans Homegrown by Heroes, Farmer Veteran Coalition, NCAT Armed to Farm, and AgrAbility Resources for Veterans.
UMD Extension – Beginning Farmer Success Progam provides new farmers the tools and education to explore, refine, develop and implement farm businesses. After completing the Beginning Farmer Program, beginning farmers looking to diversify their current farm operation can then take a agricultural entrepreneurship training course called Farming: Pencil to Plow.
MSU Extension – started in 1977, Farmweek is a locally-produced agricultural television news show. They also have a radio show called Farm and Family where experts and agricultural officials are interviewed about timely topics related to Mississippi agriculture.
UMN Extension – Small Farms Program provides education in crop and livestock production, natural resources conservation, and business management to enhance the sustainability of a small farm. The Small Farms Program has a YouTube channel where you can watch instructional videos and bite-sized, self guided introductions to a variety of farming topics called Farmbytes.
NMU Extension – a collaborated program, Not Forgotten Outreach Farm teaches veterans the basic skills and best practices for sustainable farming as a business or hobby and gain from its significant therapeutic and community benefits.
OSU Extension – farming program aimed for women, Annie’s Project is a series of workshops that seeks to empower farm women to be better business partners.