Nebraska Extension provides agricultural opportunities to veteran farmers

Nebraska Extension, in cooperation with Center for Rural Affairs, has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to launch a three-year training program for veterans who are interested or already involved in agriculture.

Through NIFA’s Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans—also called AgVets—program, Nebraska Extension and the Center for Rural Affairs have developed a training program featuring workshops, field demonstrations, business planning and other educational programming led in part by three veteran-owned farms. Experienced producers from the Barreras Family Farm, Lakehouse Farm and Anchor Meadow Farm, along with other expert resource providers, will share business and production skills for beef, vegetable and pork enterprises.

“‘Putting the Pieces Together, A Year in the Life of a Diversified Farm’ will provide a unique and focused learning opportunity for prospective active and retired military veteran farmers so that they can start successful farming enterprises of their own,” said Nebraska Extension educator Katie King.

Each year from 2021 through 2023 will contain 11 educational opportunities, rotating monthly between online classrooms and on-farm classes to teach the skills. Participants will gain critical knowledge of farm start-ups, learn how to access additional resources and networks, and walk away with a business plan of their own. Classes will follow recommended health and safety precautions, with online alternatives presented for all in-person events.

“The grant allows the program to be offered at no cost for participants and creates a tight-knit environment to learn the key production and management steps of distinct veteran-owned and operated farm businesses,” said King.

Participation is free for participants who are United States active or retired military veterans with an interest in farming. Registration is required. Contact Erin Schoenberg at [email protected] or 402-499-2781 for more information or to sign up or present at one of the online events.