32: Opportunities for Veterans in Farming
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-Lemail@example.com 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)
Armed to Farm 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 Farmer Veteran Coalition
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
Clear Path for Veterans is a program to help veterans, military members and their families. They 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, or Community involvement. http://www.clearpath4vets.com/ (315) 687-3300.
Contact your Regional Learning Network Leader
Tell them you are a veteran in their region who is interested in a career in agriculture (or already farming) and get plugged into activities near you.
- In Western NY – Lynn Bliven: firstname.lastname@example.org (585)268-7644 ext. 18
- In Northern NY – Cathy Moore: email@example.com (315) 788-8450 ext. 236
- In Eastern NY – Leora Barish: firstname.lastname@example.org (917) 806-5055
- In Southern NY – Laura Biasillo: email@example.com (607) 584-5007
- In Central NY – Matt Weiss: firstname.lastname@example.org (607) 255-9911
Get Local Help
It’s always best to first ask questions to your local small farm agent since they are familiar with events and opportunities for your county. You can find your local Cooperative Extension Small Farms liaison 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 the Cornell Small Farms Program’s 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/