The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced an award of $5 million to community farming programs for Veterans. NIFA’s Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans (AgVets) program specifically targets Veterans interested in pursuing careers across the food and agricultural sector. The aim is to equip Veterans with the necessary skills, training and experience that lead to meaningful employment opportunities to strengthen personal finances and rural economies.

The most recent announcement highlights eight AgVets projects. Each project offers onsite, hands-on training and classroom education leading to a comprehensive understanding of successful farm and ranch operations, and management practices. Projects may also offer workforce readiness and employment prospects for service-disabled Veterans.

Awardees

Rural South Institute, Madison, Alabama

Rural South Institute seeks to empower military Veterans and facilitate their equitable access to government programs and resources to successfully transition into civilian life. This project targets Veterans in Alabama, paying special attention to those currently serving in the Reserve and National Guard, and who are interested in farming and entrepreneurship.

Center for Land-Based Learning, Woodland, California

The long-term goal of this project is to provide comprehensive classroom and hands-on agricultural education to Veterans, and to connect them with support services that will increase their retention in agricultural careers. The target audience includes service-disabled Veterans, women Veterans, and socially disadvantaged Veterans in the state of California.

Farmer Veteran Coalition, Davis, California

“Veterans Farming Through Adversity” connects Veterans to an educational and training program  in their chosen agricultural field through partnerships with four certified agricultural apprenticeship programs: (a) Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA); (b) Archi’s Acres Institute for Sustainable Agriculture; (c) Rodale Institute Veteran Farmer Training Program; and (d) Texas AgrAbility Battleground to Breaking Ground. The four apprenticeship opportunities span 18 states and a variety of focus areas and commodities.

Denver Botanic Gardens, Inc., Denver, Colorado

Denver Botanic Gardens’ Veterans Farm Program creates opportunity out of crisis by preparing all Veterans for the agricultural workforce gap created by growers who are either retiring or leaving the industry.

Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education (SAVE) Corp., Manhattan, Kansas

SAVE provides hands on training and transition assistance for Veterans desiring a career in farming or the agriculture industry.

Michigan Integrated Food & Farming Systems, East Lansing, Michigan

The Heroes to Hives (H2H) program is the nation’s largest beekeeping education program with nearly 1,000 alumni operating over 4,000 beehives across the United States. H2H uses a 9-month hybrid education program that takes students through a year of beekeeping training using a self-paced online certificate program that is coupled with hands-on educational experiences at seven locations in Michigan.

Whitaker Small Farm Group Inc., Garner, North Carolina

The main goal of this project is to empower Veteran farmers primarily in eastern North Carolina with the resources, knowledge and expertise needed to make well informed decisions to manage their farms in a sustainable and profitable manner.

American Farmland Trust, Washington, D.C.

Veteran Women for the Land aims to foster a community of practice among Veteran women farmers in the Pacific Northwest through a series of listening sessions, Learning Circles and convenings.

Check out more of USDA’s resources available to Veterans.

By VAntage Point Contributor

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Published on Jul. 12, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

Views to date: 3,392

95 Comments

  1. Tony July 14, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    Of course nothing in Indiana…
    With all of our farming that’s
    ridiculous…!

  2. Sheryl Craig July 14, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    How old is too old and why does age disqualify someone?

  3. Keith Rogers July 14, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Hello I am very interested can you help me with any programs in eastern mississippi lauderdale county i have 40 acres thanks

  4. Tom Dillon July 14, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Hi, I’m a disabled veteran in Goodview, Virginia. I tried bees before but, the skunks wiped me out. I gave my equipment to a guy on Craig’s List. I really enjoyed it for while and would like to try again. Is it possible for me to get help, financially, as I’m no longer able to work due to PTSD? Recently, took my pension; small. Fixed income makes finances very tight.
    What if I don’t have website?

  5. Mike July 14, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    I do think most of us are done dealing with people and want to be left alone out in the country. I just bought me 10 acres away from everybody and anybody. I love it but I need to get a lot done on it it’s harder now days but it’s ok I got nothing but time on my hands.i would love to take advantage of any help, that I can get but I’m not taking any handouts from the government nowadays.

  6. James Thornbrough July 14, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    If any of y’all get awarded this type of blessing, call me! I ain’t got no tractor but my hands and feet still work!
    LoL NOT LoL

    • George Haddox July 14, 2022 at 7:56 pm

      I live in Simpsonville SC and would love to receive training in my area for home food gardeners. I presently have a 40′ x 55′ garden that I try to supply my family’s needs. But I am not always successful.

  7. Nevin Gatchalian July 14, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    Any VA farming programs in Oahu, HI? I want to make use of my 2-acre vacant farm land.

  8. Christopher A Squires July 14, 2022 at 10:56 am

    I am very interested and would like to learn more. I have a small farm in Tx and have a business plan already made up. Have been applying for grants and haven’t gotten any results.

    • Ellis D. Valerio July 14, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      My patronage on agriculture I once was a farmer and land owner and also National Guard Armoury, so vegetation is valid fuel…

  9. Al Ray July 14, 2022 at 10:46 am

    I live Georgia
    I am interested in Farming;

    How can I get involved in Farming ?

    • Ed Smith July 14, 2022 at 9:12 pm

      I have applied to many government farm grants and no received anything.

    • Chanda July 14, 2022 at 9:34 pm

      Where are you in GA? I have a Veteran friend who runs Hero Ag in NorthWest GA, can probably hook you up with someone local to you.

  10. Steven Manley July 14, 2022 at 10:45 am

    Is there a plan or anything available for northern Utah? I didn’t see any applications for veterans just organizations.

  11. Linnon C. Latham Jr July 14, 2022 at 10:44 am

    I was interested in this for FL also.

  12. Keith Genter July 14, 2022 at 10:43 am

    The Heroes to Hives program is run by a Veteran at the University of Michigan. If you have the motivation and any outdoor space, you can be a bee keeper. Pollinators are absolutely critical for all of the other forms of farming. The H2H program is free online training and it can change your life

    • Yayah July 14, 2022 at 12:39 pm

      I am in West Virginia and am interested!

      • Heather July 14, 2022 at 1:43 pm

        Interested in resources and information regarding the state of South Carolina. I’m an avid gardener but currently do not have business model set up.

  13. Sean C July 14, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I am interested in something along these lines how does one get involved?

  14. Grant spalding July 14, 2022 at 10:25 am

    I agree with most of these posts. How does a soon to be retired vet get the education and equipment to start sustainable farming? I do not see anything in the Missouri area. I bought 31 acres for just this but there is no information that doesn’t require traveling to an expensive, overtaxed region to get hands-on or other education.

  15. Ussery Henry July 14, 2022 at 10:14 am

    I am excited about this program, don’t have time for picking things apart. I have invested in an old depressed property. Double Wide an 20 acres. Have out buildings and barn still trying to repair and make ago of it. Also bought a tractor and implements. This has been a difficult experience for me due to disability’s, nevertheless I have invested my life in it for the last six years. As you can imagine there is a lot to do and requires significant amount of capital. Do you think I am in a position to get financial help? Thanks

  16. Robinson Stallings July 14, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Where and how to I get assistance in acquiring the necessary equipment needed in order to get started?

  17. Honi Greenlee July 14, 2022 at 10:04 am

    H2H is a great program for veterans and their caregiver no matter where you live! The course is an online apprentice beekeeper course that my veteran & I completed in 2021 on an iPhone using data from our home without internet access. Downfall of the program was a miscommunication on what would be supplied upon completion We thought we would be receiving 2 hive kits & 2 pkgs of bees to get started we purchased the other equipment we would need only to find ourselves in spring 2022 with no hive kits & no time to order bees! This left us having to wait till 2023 to begin farming

    • Tom Dillon July 14, 2022 at 7:13 pm

      Honi,
      What’s the website, please?
      Thanks,
      Tom

    • Randy Pritchard July 14, 2022 at 7:22 pm

      Hi
      I’m a Marine Corps veteran living in Virginia & have been a bee keeper for 7 years.
      I would be more than happy to give you 3 started n complete hives but not willing to ship them.
      I went to a Michigan football game a few years ago and it was about an 9 hour drive just fyi if interested..
      Thanks
      Name of our Honey business Bee Hugger Apiaries LLC which is on Facebook which my wife monitors

  18. Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 9:56 am

    Hello everyone, I am Dr. Crystal Kyle . I am an OEF, OIF Army veteran, a small farmer in NC and I administer this program as well as, Beginning Farmer and Rancher program, and AgrAbility at NIFA/USDA. All of these programs have a veteran focus. Funds are allocated through legislation. I encourage you to get involved to change or increase funds. These programs are for programs that are teaching veterans to farm. If you are interested in one of these programs as a participant, please contact me. As far as resources: Please contact your local extension and Land Grant Universities. There are resources out there, but with everything, most things are not going to be just handed to you. As for the 3 year experience, military time will take a year off, as well another year for an Ag degree. Contact FSA for more on that. Here are some more you may be interested in:

    USDA Service Center locator:
    Cooperative Extension Services:
    AgrAbility
    Veteran AgrAbility resource
    Home grown by heros
    USDA Veteran: https
    Farm answers

    • Wayne July 14, 2022 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you!

    • Cashauna Davis July 14, 2022 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Crystal,
      I just bought some land in Texas and interested in farming. I am a women disabled vet. Please reach out to me at your earliest convenience.

    • CRW July 14, 2022 at 7:18 pm

      Good afternoon Ms. Kyle, I will keep this brief: grew up ranching in CA, spent 10 years as a Marine aviator, combat veteran – now quadriplegic 100% + service-connected. I have no doubt that with the proper resources, I can manage a ranch or farm. But realistically, is there a place for someone such as myself in the industry?

    • Lynda July 15, 2022 at 7:37 am

      Good morning. We are in Newton County, Arkansas. We are very much in need of a meat processing house (wording it softly) in our county. Many farmers that actually support our small local communities and schools, but they have to drive HOURS each direction to get to a processing place. My husband and I are both veterans and wanting to get one going here. Any idea who we could talk to or who could help?
      Thank you in advance.

  19. Sam Edwards July 14, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Are there any awardees available or soon to be available for the state of Georgia especially for those looking to expand if we already own our own land?

  20. Eric July 14, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Are there any resources for this n Georgia?

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 9:58 am

      yes. Jon Jackson runs a program in GA. Look for him and your local extension office. crystal.kyle@usda.gov if you would like to connect

  21. David Miller July 14, 2022 at 7:14 am

    How do I get help with land and equipment loans or grants

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 9:59 am

      talk to your local extension. They often have loan out items. FVC also has a program where they grant some equipment each year

  22. Jeffrey L. Frusha July 14, 2022 at 12:44 am

    Funny thing… I have 6.39 acres and the USDA can’t seem to find a way to help me get a tractor, since I don’t have 2 years of financial paperwork for a farm I have no equipment to work. There doesn’t seem to be any program to even help me get the equipment I need, yet this story shows that special interest groups get paid, without showing how that benefits Veterans.

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:01 am

      We fund educational programs that are benefiting veterans by teaching Veterans to farm and access to resources. if you would like to connect crystal.kyle@usda.gov and I am on linkedin

  23. Kristen Crose July 14, 2022 at 12:04 am

    Is there anything offered for Ohio?

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:02 am

      Email me at crystal.kyle@usda.gov. I will see which program is closer to you

  24. geraldpleckham July 13, 2022 at 11:32 pm

    Would very much like to talk to somebody about an idea that I have for disabled vets and veterans as well my name is geraldpleckham

  25. Christine July 13, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    You don’t have a link for Veteran Women for the Land. And you seem to have associated it with the American Farmland Trust link instead, which is in the other Washington which is NOT in the Pacific Northwest.

    • TB July 14, 2022 at 10:05 am

      Yes! I saw that too… I guess they don’t monitor their comments. :/

  26. Tywanda Addo-Amoh July 13, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    I would like to join

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:03 am

      I can find a program that is funded near you. crystal.kyle@usda.gov

  27. M Hill July 13, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    Since we humans are herbivorous, no need for animal (including bees and/or other insects) farming, correct? For the health of our veterans, the nation, and the animals we share this planet with, let’s advocate for healthy plant-based eating vs. animal exploitation (“farming”) and the multitude of diseases that follow (albeit financially profitable for a few!). Thank you

  28. John July 13, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    All these programs sound great and serve a great purpose. However, I do not see how a struggling veteran in western Nc could possibly benefit from any of this. Good for the ones who can I suppose.

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:04 am

      There are many programs that we fund in NC. I am a veteran and a small farmer. This program is one I administer (see my full comment above) if you are interested in participating in a veteran lead Ag Ed program email me at crystal.kyle@usda.gov for more info

  29. Charles Smith July 13, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    Interested in farming.

  30. Charles Smith July 13, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I am interested in learning more.

  31. James Violante July 13, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    How about something in South NJ?

  32. Wayne Casto July 13, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    H2H program interested not enough contact information Please post intact information and material information

  33. Joseph Smith July 13, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    What resources are available to me? I’d like to grow some cherries

  34. Cody July 13, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    We need funding for veterans that want to farm. That is the real barrier. A guarantee like the home loan would be a better and more usable program

  35. John Eskew July 13, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    I’m interested in a horse farm to do boarding work with vets ptsd ect

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:14 am

      Hi John, Unfortunately the AGVETS program does not fund horse operations. I would encourage you to go to the NIFA website and see if there are any other programs that might help fund you. Good luck. I am a veteran with PTSD. My daughter has brain cancer. We both participated in and benefited from horse therapy.

  36. James Burke July 13, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    The grant for Denver Botanical Gardens must be changed to add. Veterans to Farmers run by Richard Murphy, an Air Force veteran.

  37. Lenon Whitfield July 13, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    I live in DeSoto County Mississippi, are there any agriculture training opportunities offerings in this location?

  38. Johnny Larkin Owens July 13, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    The government continuing to create more ways to waste taxpayer money.

  39. Magnus July 13, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Listed cities are likely to expensive for an out of work vet to live there

    An remote online programs for us vets trying to live on 1700 a month in a low cost county on rural land in our 15 year old travel trailers

  40. Travis Ebmeyer July 13, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    I need a beginning farmers grant or loan to aquire the proper equipment needed as well as outbuildings and livestock supplys

  41. Paul Edward Gingras July 13, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    thanks

  42. Graham Phuvanatnaranubala July 13, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Hello,
    How does these work? I am retired military and am looking to relocated to Georgia. Are there any opportunity in this are?

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:08 am

      There are, email me at crystal.kyle@usda.gov. I administer these programs (see post above) I can assist you with finding a program that we fund near you

  43. GI Joe July 13, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    I called and they said I was too old

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:09 am

      I am the person you would call… if you want resources crystal.kyle@usda.gov

    • JJ July 14, 2022 at 11:40 am

      Lmfao! That’s exactly what they will say to 90% of all vets… that you’re to F..ing old. Or they’ll find some other cheap, even more ridiculous, excuse to blow you off.

      Just trying to seek more info through those links is like they provided there is like attempting to solve a complex mathematical problem.

      Look gents, do not waste your time. This all is nothing but a front by VA and the government to make everyone believe they are actively doing something for veterans. But in reality they have ZERO intentions and no desire whatsoever in helping veterans. It’s all about make believe. So move on and good luck.

  44. JC Brooks July 13, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    I would love to have information to apply and expand this program in Western North Carolina.
    I have 50 acres snd do my best to raise cattle, butcher and sale beef and cattle.
    We also have a greenhouse my wife runs.
    CW3 JC Brooks
    USA, Retired

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:10 am

      Hi I am Dr. Crystal Kyle a veteran myself and I own and operate a small farm in Western NC. I also administer the program along with Beginning Farmer and Rancher and AgrAbility program. There are many resources and networks. Email me at crystal.kyle@usda.gov lets connect

  45. Jared A Smith July 13, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    Be nice if you advertised these types of things BEFORE the selections were made.

    A bit hard to get help when you all keep refusing to help us in a timely manner.

    And interesting to see the VA taking credit for another’s agency’s contributions. Like usual. Now if the VA would have funded them, it’d be different.

    But you simply talk about supporting us. 100% disabled veteran and you refuse to even pay your community care bills.

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:16 am

      We (AGVETs) releases a grant every year depending on congress and allocated funding.

  46. Daniel July 13, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    I am a 100% rated disabled veteran, I would like to get into farming on our property, but I only have an acre of land. What could I do if anything to get some help turning our property into a bee and plant sanctuary as we produce food to store and resell locally? I am finding that I enjoy growing things. Thanks for your time.

  47. Jack John July 13, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    Another article by the VA that does nothing to help a veteran. This is just a booster of acknowledgement to those who say they do stuff for the veteran. But gives absolutely no information on how to pursue what this article in tales.

    • JJ July 14, 2022 at 11:45 am

      Exactly.

  48. Crescen Hernandez July 13, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Im in Texas and interested in Agricultural resources available to Veterans please help

  49. Denise July 13, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    I am a 90% disabled female Gulf War veteran and this is exactly what I am trying to accomplish but I desperately need training. I do not live in any of the states shown, I live on 5 acres perfect for farming (sandy loam soil) in North Texas, is there a program available for me where I live?

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:18 am

      Hi Denise,

      I am a 100% disabled OEF and OIF veteran that farms. AGVETs is a program I administer. Yes, there are funded programs for you. crystal.kyle@usda.gov. I can find one thats close to you. Also see my post above. i added other resources that you may want to check out

  50. Richard Mulholland July 13, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    What about the smaller folks

  51. Nicholas Gazzillo July 13, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Any opportunity for South Florida Disabled Veterans?

  52. Brandon American July 13, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Looks like a few of these so called awardees are nothing more than a political group pushing BS “Climate Change” agenda. Real farmers have always done what’s right for the environment. Unfortunately the clown show policies are currently starving Americans and bankrupting Veteran owned businesses.

  53. Eladio Alameda July 13, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Are there any opportunities in Florida regarding Farms?

  54. Stephen Sargeant July 13, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    This is something I’ll love to get into for the long hall.

  55. David Atwell July 13, 2022 at 6:14 pm

    Why is there no type of help for Veterans and Disabled Veterans in West Virginia?

  56. Gilbert Boisvert July 13, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Looks like the entire East Coast has been put totally out of the picture! We have VETS here that could benefit from such a program.

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:20 am

      hi Gilbert,

      I administer this and other programs for veteran at the USDA. I am also a veteran that farms myself. We have lots of funded programs on the East Coast. I actually work remote from my home and farm in NC. email me at crystal.kyle@usda.gov lets find you a program .

      • JJ July 14, 2022 at 12:01 pm

        Funny though how you only bother to reply and assist the one female that asked for help. Will you now bother to reply and help all the other (male) responders on here that are seeking answers to their questions? Just saying. Please shelve your feminism and be equally helpful to all veterans regardlessof gender. Thank you and good day!

        Also, why are we being required to make use of a calculator to post comments on here? It’s quite annoying and highly unfair. For instance, to post this message I am required to answer the following: 12×29. For me to answer that, I have to use of a calculator. Even though I am pretty good with math and hold a degree in engineering, I am NOT a machine capable of performingextensive mathematical calculations in a fly. Just saying, it is an inconvenience to have to break out a calculator just to post messages here. It is especially hindering to vets who are already dealing with their own disabilities, which could be mental. Please be more considerate and inclusive with all vets is all I’m saying. Thank you.

        [Editor: She replied to almost two dozen comments.]

  57. Rick Strul July 13, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    Nothing in Tennessee or Florida? Why not?

    • Crystal Kyle July 14, 2022 at 10:21 am

      hello Rick. I am Crystal Kyle. Please see my post above. We have plenty of programs in Tennessee and Florida. you are looking at just one years funding. email me at crystal.kyle@usda.gov and i can find one close to you

  58. Billy Smith July 13, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    I currently live on my brothers 5 acre farm. I would like to raise livestock of sorts in small quantities but need seed monies to do so. What is the best way to go about this?

  59. Jose A Cardona July 13, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    How about if the VA does something for the people in central Florida, when do we get support for the agricultural resources, I have been trying to get support on a 5 acre property I bought within the USDA and I tell you as a 23 year disabled combat Veteran service member it has been the most difficult situation in order to get support to start a Hydrponic system that am certified on.

    • JJ July 14, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      They won’t help you. Don’t waste your time. You’ll have to do it on your own, unfortunately. Best and good luck.

    • Robert Follett July 14, 2022 at 4:31 pm

      I sold my farm in Lake Wales. Central Florida is wasted area for veterans to get anything.

Comments are closed.

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