Tuesday, September 15, 2015

USDA hosts session to help returning veterans start farming

On Thursday, September 17, at 11 a.m. Eastern, Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will sit down with a panel of veteran farmers and veteran training organizations for a live Google+ Hangout to discuss opportunities available through USDA for returning service members who are looking for long-term careers in farming, ranching and agriculture. Use the USDA Google+ page or  to join us.

If you are a military veteran living in rural America, you are not alone. Today, more than five million veterans live in rural areas, a higher concentration than in any other part of the country. Many veterans show interest in agriculture because they feel that working on the land helps them successfully transition to civilian life and provides them with a way to continue serving their community. As part of the beginning farmer community, many veterans are eligible for a wide variety of USDA programs and resources that include access to capital through our beginning farmer loan program, farm ownership loans or microloans.

Tune in to the Google+ Hangout to hear real-life stories of veterans who have successfully made the transition from active military to agriculture. You can ask questions of the panelists by leaving them in the comments section below or by using #NextGenAg on Twitter. You can also RSVP to attend the event on our Google+ page.

Leading the discussion:
Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden
Dave Paulk, owner of Sassafras Creek Farm in St. Mary’s County, Md.
Karen and Colin Archipley, co-founders of Archi’s Acres in Escondido, Calif.
Marianne Cufone, executive director of Recirculating Farms in New Orleans, La.
Justin Barclay, veteran farming program coordinator at Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pa.