November 23, 2017

U.S. Ag Sec Says Returning Troops Have a Home in Agriculture – South Dakota

Newly confirmed Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue reaffirmed USDA’s commitment to supporting America’s Veterans during testimony before the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday.

Perdue told lawmakers that will attend an event for veterans and ag outreach efforts in South Dakota tomorrow.

Listen —> Perdue on Vets for Ag

Veterans returning to the United States from active duty face many challenges. Recent data show that 45 percent of armed service members are from rural America.  The agricultural industry is a logical solution to fill the economic gap veterans face.  USDA is committed to assisting veterans start or resume farming and ranching operations in order to strengthen the American economy and provide livelihoods to our returning veterans.

As an example, USDA’s website says the following organizations and programs already specifically target and assist veteran farmers and ranchers.

  • Farmer-Veteran Coalition– This organization helps returning veterans find employment and training on farms and ranches and in other agriculture-related careers.   As the coalition continues to grow, it will expand availability and access to farm education and acquisition programs for hundreds of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots – This program, designed by deans at the University of Nebraska’s College of Technical Agriculture, helps returning veterans enter the agricultural industry. When fully operational, the program will offer agricultural classes and job training and placement at local farms and ranches.
  • Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training– This program serves veterans in Cal Poly Pomona. It provides training and agricultural job skills to help veterans start farms or ranches or obtain other jobs in the agricultural sector.