Armed to Farm Tag

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Ranchin' Vets have teamed up to offer a new level of support for military veterans interested in sustainable agriculture training opportunities. Ranchin' Vets will fund a one-time transportation stipend directly to veterans selected to participate in NCAT's Armed to Farm training program. The one-week sustainable agriculture Armed to Farm training has always been free for veterans and their spouses or farm partners to attend. However, attendees have always been responsible for getting themselves to the training site, which could require long drives across several states or even airfare. "We're very thankful for...

Alvina Maynard credits a commercial she happened to see on television while staying in a hotel with inspiring her to raise alpacas. In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Director and Director of NCAT’s Armed to Farm Program Margo Hale, talks with Alvina, an Air Force Reservist who owns River Hill Ranch in Richmond, Kentucky. Alvina talks about her military background, her farming enterprises, and how her operation has grown. She also shares her experience accessing various USDA programs, including the Value-Added Producer Grant and EQIP. Alvina discusses the programs and services she has utilized, how those programs...

Do you know what 11% of U.S. producers have in common? It’s not that they grow tomatoes or sell at farmers markets—it’s that they have served or are serving in the military. And do you know who offers training and networking opportunities specifically for military veterans interested in sustainable farming operations? NCAT does!
By Margo Hale, Southeast Regional Director and Livestock Specialist...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has launched a new website for its farmer veteran training program, Armed to Farm. The site, ARMEDTOFARM.ORG, features program news, promotes upcoming training opportunities, and connects alumni with sustainable agriculture resources and other farmer veterans. 
By Robyn Metzger, Armed to Farm Coordinator...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Asha Tillman shares the story of James Burch, who left Carroll County, Mississippi, for the military and other pursuits some 40 years ago. Now, he has returned to pursue his dream of starting Coleman’s Farm. As a beginning farmer, Mr. Burch is full of plans and advice for other beginning farmer veterans. ATTRA Resources: Armed to Farm: Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans Farm Start-Up Beginning Farmer Tutorials A Beginning Farmer Tells Her Story Other Resources: AgPlan Using an Excel Sheet for Farm Financial Records USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service...

In January 2020, NCAT’s Armed to Farm team was busy making plans to host eight workshops, including one in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in June 2020. However, by late April it had become clear that we would not be able to meet in person for some time. After a year of waiting and hoping and Zooming, we were thrilled to finally host the 25th week-long Armed to Farm in May 2021 at Mount Sequoyah Retreat Center in Fayetteville. We were so happy to be back with a group of military veterans eager and ready to learn about sustainable farming.
By Robyn Metzger, Armed...

Part of my role as an NCAT Agriculture Specialist is to connect farmers to the resources that they need, so I always include USDA agencies in our Armed to Farm trainings for military veterans and other educational events we organize. The USDA has dozens of agencies and programs to help farmers—as depicted in the graphic below—but for this blog I will mention just a few.
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist...