An increasing number of programs and resources are available for veterans entering farming. Navigating through federal, state and local channels can be time consuming. While not intended to be all encompassing the information below will help you get started.
Sign up for the New York State Veterans in Agriculture Listserve: From the email address you’d like to use for your list subscription, send an email to NYVETSAG-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org and type the word “join” (without quotations) in the body of the message. The Small Farms Program and our partners will be using this forum to publicize events, resources, and opportunities related to veterans interested in farming in NYS.
Armed to Farm (ATF) is a National Center for Appropriate Technology program that provides training on sustainable agriculture to veterans. ATF is a combination of farm tours and classroom instruction that focuses on business planning, livestock production, and fruit and vegetable production. https://www.ncat.org/armedtofarm/
The Farm Bureau Resource Guide to Assist Veterans in Agriculture. A Farm Bureau and Farmer Veteran Coalition Partnership http://mdfarmbureau.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/FBVetGuide_LR_Final1-2014.pdf
Download a free copy of the Veteran Careers in Agriculture: A Resource Guide: http://www.farmvetco.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/RG_FINAL_WEB_compressed.pdf
Heroic Food, is based in Columbia County, NY and is being developed in collaboration with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. It’s a residential, tuition-free program, and participants will have paid training positions on farms and other income streams throughout the program. http://heroicfood.org/ (917) 806-5055.
National AgrAbility Project The vision of AgrAbility is to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. While the term “disability” often brings to mind conditions such as spinal cord injuries and amputations, AgrAbility addresses not only these but also many other conditions, such as arthritis, back impairments, and behavioral health issues. http://www.agrability.org/ 1-800-825-4264.
Veterans Outreach Center Inc. Founded locally in 1973 by returning Vietnam veterans, the center is serving the veterans and military families of Greater Rochester (585) 546-1081 and Buffalo, NY (716) 424-1892. Offering a comprehensive portfolio of supportive services designed to meet the needs of veterans and their families. http://veteransoutreachcenter.org
Clear Path for Veterans We help Veterans, military members and their families. We provide myriad programs and services to make this happen. Each program and service relies on one of three methods: Self-empowerment, Peer-to-Peer support, and Community involvement. http://www.clearpath4vets.com/ (315) 687-3300.
USDA Start Farming USDA is an “Every Day, Every Way” department that touches the lives of every American, every day by supporting the agriculture sector, strengthening rural communities, promoting healthy eating, and helping to protect our natural resources. At the forefront of our mission is the support we provide to farmers to help them start and continue farming. https://newfarmers.usda.gov/veterans (202) 720-2791
USDA Wants You! Veterans in Agriculture brochure: https://www.nal.usda.gov/sites/default/files/vetsagbrochure.pdf
Get Local Help: It’s always best to first ask questions to your local small farm agent since they are familiar with local zoning issues and regulations for your county. You can find your local Small Farms Cooperative Extension Agent by checking the county-by-county listing at: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/contact/local-contacts/
Looking for local events/trainings? We highly recommend subscribing to our bi-monthly newsletter. It brings you statewide events, ag funding opportunities, new resources, and small farm related job or career opportunities every two weeks. Subscribe at http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/contact/e-news-sign-up/