Getting farm grants for disabled veterans is crucial, especially since not everyone who comes back after serving in the military have a job waiting for them. As you know, agricultural farming is an important aspect of a country, including the United States. This field requires a lot of workforce, who are skillful and diligent.
That is why the government is empowering the veterans (disabled and non-disabled) to try farming as their new career path after they have finished their time in the military. One program that supports military veterans and socially disadvantaged farmers is the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, which is commonly known as the 2501 program, coming from the mutual effort from the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Farm Grants for Disabled Veterans – Support
The program is coordinated by each State’s USDA agencies, with the aim to empower the people to participate and comply with the USDA programs. Last year, as much as $10 million dollar is allocated for funding the program. The money is distributed by each state, so there may be some differences in terms of policy. Some might offer grants, while some other focuses on providing support programs and trainings. Contact your local USDA office to learn more about the opportunities. Needless to say, military veterans with disability have better chance on getting the grant. You can also visit the outreach.usda.gov/grants to see whether there is currently government grant application opening. But, currently (Feb, 19 – 2018) the website is down, I don’t know when it’s back online.
A former veteran who is working in an organic farming said that farming is similar to battle. You have to protect your crop from various conditions and diseases. Moreover, in farming you have to be able to identify friend from foe (beneficial or harming insects, etc). Therefore, it is clear that farming needs some skills and knowledge. There are many places and programs you can refer to increase your skills as a farmer. For example:
Archi’s Acres – Located in near San Diego area, the farm provide hydroponics and sustainable farming techniques for veterans. If you are not familiar with the sustainable farming techniques, you should give it a try. In our reference section, you can see their overwhelming presentation in NY.
Veterans Farm – located in Jacksonville, Florida, it’s a great place to learn farming blueberries and blackberries while getting a good therapy, education and socialization training at the same time to avoid depression.
Heroic Food – Located in Columbia County, NY, the place offer tuition free program that can improve your skill in farming. There are paid training programs in farms, along with several other opportunities.
Vets to Ag Program – It’s a program from Michigan State University available for veterans. During the six weeks training course you will learn technical knowledge about farming from the experts, including the plant and soil science, pest management, and other supporting skills.
Veteran Organic Farming Program – Similar to the Vets to Ag program, this one provide training and education about organic farming for veterans.
Getting farm grants for disabled veterans is possible, so don’t give up!