BENEFITING: National Center for Appropriate Technology, Inc.
“Armed to Farm has been the single most helpful experience I have had as a veteran.”
“Loved the Armed to Farm program. Credit it with starting my farming career. Was really powerful to get a bunch of veterans together to connect through agriculture—much more than just learning how to farm. The staff was amazing and I still use what I learned on my farm now.”
“Armed to Farm was the best thing we have done to gain hands-on experience and network with others as we prepare to pursue our farming dreams and goals.”
Those are just a few of the comments we’ve received from veterans who have completed our Armed to Farm week-long training program. Armed to Farm is a sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans that has a unique, holistic approach to farm planning. We teach not only hands-on production techniques such as low-stress livestock handling, high tunnel construction, and sustainable pest management, but also often-overlooked aspects of farming including business planning, financial management, and goal setting to meet the needs of everyone involved in the farming operation. We provide free lodging, meals, and transportation for the Armed to Farm participants, because we know that cost is often an obstacle for farmers who are looking for training opportunities.
NCAT has a long history of educating new and beginning farmers through our sustainable agriculture programs, and in 2010 we began targeted outreach and training for military veterans who were interested in farming. In 2013, with the guidance of an NCAT staff member who was also a veteran and farmer, we planned and hosted our first Armed to Farm week-long training in partnership with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Since that first Armed to Farm event, we’ve partnered with other veteran organizations and universities across the U.S. to train 197 participants from 31 states. We have four additional trainings scheduled for this summer and fall. Over the years, it has been our privilege to see Armed to Farm alumni find emotional healing, create economic development opportunities, and lift up other veterans through their successful farm businesses. Please help us continue to arm these farmer-veterans with the knowledge, resources, and supportive peer network that will help them succeed in their farming careers.
Each week-long Armed to Farm training costs $25,000. This amount covers our cost to provide free lodging, meals and transportation for 30 veterans and their spouses or farming partners; stipends for the generous farmers who welcome us to learn on their farms; plus books, publications, and other resources that participants can take home and continue to use long after the event. Your charitable donation will go directly to these costs—but the impact of your gift will expand far beyond the one-week training as our military veterans build successful farming careers, sustaining their families, the land, and their communities.
For more information about NCAT’s Armed to Farm program, visit www.ncat.org/armedtofarm. To read about two of our Armed to Farm alumni, see https://www.ncat.org/armed-to-farm-veterans-build-partnership-and-community/.
Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. In partnership with businesses, organizations, individuals and agricultural producers, NCAT is working to advance solutions that will ensure the next generation inherits a world that has clean air and water, energy production that is efficient and renewable, and healthy foods grown with sustainable practices. More information about its programs and services is available at www.ncat.org or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.