- The Plate
Nonprofits Train Veterans For a New Challenge: Farming
America needs farmers—100,000 in the next decade to replace retiring farmers, whose average age is currently 57. And America needs jobs for veterans, more than a half-million of whom are unemployed, struggling to translate military skills to civilian jobs or make other adjustments to civilian life after active duty.
Today veterans who want to try farming have a new opportunity. The Farmer Veteran Coalition and Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture are launching a veteran-farming program modeled on military-reserve weekends. The new program’s application was released last week; ten veterans will be chosen to participate.
Under the yearlong Veteran Farmer Reserve Program, veterans attend monthly weekend workshops and field trips to learn the art and science of farming, and get their hands