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Armed to Farm workshop coming to New YorkArmed to Farm workshop coming to New York

Interested military veterans in N.Y. can sign up now for August's 'mostly free' week-long Armed to Farm workshop.

May 17, 2016

2 Min Read

Cornell University’s Small Farms Program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology will conduct a week-long Armed to Farm workshop at the White Eagle Lodge in Hamilton, N.Y., Aug. 8-12

The program is available to military veterans in New York State who are interested in starting a farm or who have been farming for less than 10 years and who wish to learn more skills, explore sustainable and diverse enterprises, and improve or change their farm business plans.


NCAT partners with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Farmer Veteran Coalition, Growing Warriors, and other sustainable agriculture organizations to train veterans interested in sustainable agriculture careers. Armed to Farm’s goals are:

* Train veterans and their partners to operate sustainable crop and livestock enterprises

* Grow a network of veterans and their families who are starting careers in sustainable agriculture

* Provide technical assistance to participants as they start and improve their farming operations

The program includes a mix of educational classes covering topics such as risk management, business planning, marketing and hands-on activities at successful livestock, crop, and agritourism operations. 

The Cornell Small Farms Program is sponsoring this event. NCAT is partnering with staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension staff to conduct the training. This residential, six-day Armed to Farm program is available to veterans from the Empire State at no cost through a USDA-funded Beginning Farmer Rancher Grant. The program includes classroom and on-farm learning through exercises, discussions, presentations, hands-on skill practice, and tours at host farms in the area.

Instructors include sustainable agriculture specialists from NCAT, Cornell staff, USDA agencies, and host farmers, some of whom are veterans. According to NCAT, the peer teaching by other farmers is what sets Armed to Farm apart from many other programs.

Spouses and farming partners are welcome to apply. Host farm visits may include livestock, fruit, vegetable, and dairy operations with hands-on sessions. Farm visits are interspersed with short classroom presentations and breakout sessions. Participants also receive a set of educational materials including a selection of sustainable agriculture publications and related texts.  

The program includes most meals, all materials, and lodging for the week. Applications are due by July 1. Submit your application online here

More information about Armed to Farm and other NCAT farmer veteran resources can be found at the link www.ncat.org/armedtofarm/    

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