“Swords into Plowshares and Spears into Pruning Hooks...”

While some veterans returning home have jobs waiting for them, many do not. Although traditional rural employment in farming, logging, mining, fishing and small manufacturing has been declining for decades, small farms have been on the rise due to consumer interest in locally grown, organic and specialty foods. This demand creates unique and exciting opportunities for beginners – and veterans who would become farmers and ranchers.
The USDA recently awarded the Center for Rural Affairs, Farmer-Veteran Coalition, Swords to Plowshares, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and six other partner organizations with funding for a project that will allow veterans to learn strategies and implement plans for farm/ranch start-up, including financing, land access, and business development. Veterans will also learn to access the resources available to them for technical assistance, production and marketing information, and mentoring.

Veterans that choose a life and career in farming and ranching help re-energize, rebuild and revitalize our rural communities. But more importantly, no one is more deserving of spending a rewarding life on the land than the veterans who have stood in defense of the United States of America. Through this initiative, these organizations will do our best to repay the impossibly high debt our nation owes these men and women.

Veterans building on their discipline and sense of service and using farming or ranching to reintegrate into society gracefully and fruitfully provide an opportunity for themselves and genuine hope for many of our rural communities.

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