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Workshop focuses on veterans in farming

Veterans and those who work with them will benefit from this regional AgrAbility workshop in Indianapolis.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

May 15, 2023

2 Min Read
carrots growing in a high-tunnel greenhouse
VETERANS AND FARMING: These carrots grow in November inside a high-tunnel greenhouse at Porter Farm near Danville, Ind. — a project dedicated to helping veterans. Veterans and those who support them can learn about agricultural opportunities at an upcoming workshop. Tom J. Bechman

If you are a veteran or know a veteran interested in agriculture and farming, circle the date for an upcoming workshop. It’s designed to help veterans explore how to develop a career or business in agriculture, and will be held June 6-8 at the Hilton Garden Inn at the airport in Indianapolis.

The workshop is sponsored by the AgrAbility program. “This workshop will focus strictly on veterans in agriculture and how to help them succeed,” says Joe Ricker, veterans outreach coordinator with AgrAbility in Indiana. Ricker is a team member on the staff, operating out of the Breaking New Ground Resource Center at Purdue University. Bill Field, longtime Purdue Extension farm safety specialist, planted the seeds for the center decades ago.

Don’t stop reading if you’re not a veteran. The workshop is designed to also inform others who help veterans know how to better to assist veterans interested in pursuing a career in agriculture. Those include service providers like state agency personnel and governmental organization staff, Extension educators, vocational-agriculture teachers and FFA advisors, physical therapists, and more.

Session topics include business planning, land access and estate planning, farming with a disability, getting your product to market, and more. The workshop also will feature an all-day tour of veteran-owned ag businesses.

Sessions will run from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. EDT on June 6 and from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on June 7. June 8 is reserved for the tour, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost is $125 for the full workshop, including the tour. If you want to attend the workshops but not the tour, cost is $75.

Registration is open through May 31. Registration stipends for veterans are available while supplies last. To inquire about a stipend, contact Linda Tarr at [email protected] or 812-849-4447. For registration information, visit the AgrAbility website.

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About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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