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Veterans in Agriculture

Secretary Perdue visiting members of Ellsworth AFB, May 19, 2017. USDA photo by Lance Cheung

Why Farming?

If you are thinking about farming as a post-service career, there has never been a more important time to get involved in agriculture.

The Challenge

As a military veteran, your leadership training, skills, and perspective can help America meet the challenges of producing food and rebuilding rural and urban communities.  Feeding a growing global population will require a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050.  USDA wants you to be a part of the next generation feeding the Nation and the world, and USDA can connect you to the resources and help you need to get there.

The Transition Home

USDA knows that service members’ transition back to civilian life can have its challenges, and some seek recovery as they reintegrate back to civilian life.  Many veterans experience working the land and growing food as a holistic way to ease the transition.

The Community

As a new farmer, you join a growing, diverse community of Americans—including other veterans—passionate about food, the land, and giving back. At the same time, farmers are small business owners and entrepreneurs, and agriculture offers an opportunity to be your own boss, while contributing significantly to your community.  USDA is committed to helping you find meaningful and purposeful work as you transition home, and we are working to provide the solutions and partnerships to get you started in farming. Come join us as we work together to build the next generation of farming and ranching!

Getting Started

Are you new to farming or considering farming as a post-service career?  One good place to start is your local USDA Service Center to talk to someone who can support your effort to start a new farm.  Use our locator to find your local Service Center.

Before you visit a USDA Service Center, you may wish to review some important considerations about farming and the life change it entails.  You can use your responses to each consideration to inform your discussion with USDA and other support services.

Additional support is offered to beginning farmers through community and farmer development organizations. Meet other veteran farmers through these support networks.