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Recent posts by Wyatt Fraas

Texas Hosts Veterans to Break New Ground in Farming

Battleground to Breaking Ground is doing just that for veterans who want to farm. The new program of workshops offered by Texas AgriLife Extension offers training and assistance to military veterans who are interested in a career in agriculture.

We learned about the program through a news story from Paul Schlattenberg at Texas A&M.

Resources for a Woman-Owned Value Added Agriculture Project

I was asked what organizations would help with grants or loans to a woman-owned start up value added agriculture project. I found quite a few sources, including the national USDA Value Added Producer Grant program, accepting applications until July 7, 2015.

Iowa was the locale of interest. Supposing many of you have similar challenges, I hope these ideas will get you started, no matter where you live.

Rating the Chances of Success for a 1st-Generation Farmer or Rancher

"Based on your experience, what are the chances of a first generation farmer/rancher succeeding? I keep hearing people say that I am likely to fail within the first year."

That question came in an email. I began with my usual reply: "Congratulations on considering a farm! There are many opportunities in farming now for people with dedication and vision."

Rural Rockstar: Dan Hromas, Veteran Beginning Farmer, Receives Sustainable Agriculture Award

Dan Hromas of York, Nebraska, is the recipient of the Center for Rural Affairs’ 2014 Bob Steffen Pioneer Award. It honors his integrity, leadership, and extraordinary efforts in sustainable agriculture.

This beginning farmer exemplifies service to his community of veterans and neighbors. He returned from duty after 20 years of service in the military, and decided he wanted to farm and work for himself. But he couldn’t afford land or cows, so he started with chickens.

Crowdfunding Boosts Farm Efforts, No Substitute for Hard Work

Crowdfunding – a popular form of Internet-based donations, loans, or investments – has come to farm country. When bank loans or profits are unavailable, you can access funding through these websites.

The basic idea is to gather a large number of people (your “crowd”) who give small amounts of money to collectively fund a project. Donors give money because they believe in the business goals or like the business owners. In turn, they often receive a thank-you reward such as a farm product.

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