Purdue received word recently that it has a four-year grant to be the lead agency once again on the AgrAbility project started at Purdue University through Breaking New Ground more than two decades ago. One of the first things AgrAbility is doing now is hosting a conference for veterans this week. The two-day conference, Nov. 7 and 8, will be held at the Beck Ag Center near West Lafayette.
Paul Jones of Agrability says only 17% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, yet 44% of our military are rural residents. Other data shows that as of February 2012, more than 47,500 wounded service members have returned from combat since 2001. The numbers come from the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue, Jones says.
This workshop is designed to assist veterans in various ways, he says. It will include everything from learning how to start a farm to developing a business plan. It will also help those who have disabilities that need to be addressed. The first day includes intensive classroom training on a variety of subjects. The second day includes hands-on training at a variety of Purdue farms, primarily livestock farms, offering training that could be useful to those who have special needs.
The best news is that if you are a veteran not attending on behalf of a group, your fees are waived, and you can attend both days for free. There is also the possibility of applying for a travel stipend to attend the event. To find out if you qualify or to register, call 800-825-4264.
Others who want to attend the event may do so, but there is a cost to attend. Full registration for the conference is $125, or you can attend one day, either day one or day two, for $95. Since the timeline is short, you may want to call to check on details.