Register for Answering the Call by June 14 : Conference features free resources and connections for veterans in farming

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Jordan Rasmussen, policy program associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1032; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

Seward, Neb. - Military veterans who are farming or who are interested in farming are invited to Answering the Call, a one-day conference, on Thursday, June 22, in Seward, Nebraska, at the Seward Civic Center, 616 Bradford St.

The event is free; registration is required by June 14. Answering the Call is sponsored by Center for Rural Affairs and Legal Aid of Nebraska.

“The conference is an opportunity for veterans to connect with fellow former service members,” said Jordan Rasmussen, policy program associate at Center for Rural Affairs. “Veterans can see firsthand how other veterans have translated the duty and drive of military life into a second career on the farm.”

The day will begin at 8 a.m. with an introduction by Matt and Emely Hendl, beginning veteran farmers. After a presentation by staff from the Farm Service Agency, attendees may attend panel sessions on land access and financial resources. Speaking on the land access panel will be Joe Hawbaker of Hawbaker Law Office, Kirstin Bailey of the Center for Rural Affairs, and Karla Bahm of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. The financial resources panel features Carl Home of Farm Credit Services, Dudley Beyer of Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, and Dave Goeller of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A lunch at Ficke Cattle Ranch near Pleasant Dale will highlight local foods. Speakers during lunch include Del Ficke of Ficke Cattle Ranch, Tom Clutter of Marrow Market, Nate Belcher of Green Acres Cover Crops, and Matt Hendl of Graze Master Chickens. A tour of the ranch and chicken tractor demonstration will follow.

A visit to ShadowBrook Farms hosted by Charuth Van Beuzekom and Kevin Loth will conclude the tours before attendees return to Seward. Transportation will be provided.

“The tours will be a real highlight of the day,” said Rasmussen. “You will hear from veterans who are reintegrating rewarding and productive vocations in rural communities.”

Spots are filling quickly. For more information and to register, call 1.800.464.0258 or visit

Additional support for Answering the Call is provided by Green Acres Cover Crops, Ficke Cattle, and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.