Tuesday, September 15, 2015

USDA, Department of Defense to offer agriculture training to transitioning military service members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday announced a partnership that will "add agriculture to the career training and counseling provided to the 200,000 service members leaving the military and returning to civilian life every year," reports Agri-Pulse.

Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of USDA, said in a statement: “Rural America disproportionately sends its sons and daughters to serve in the military.When service members return home, we want them to know that rural America has a place for them, no matter where they're from. This expanded collaboration between USDA and DOD will help to ensure that returning service members know that there are a wide variety of loans, grants, training and technical assistance for veterans who are passionate about a career in agriculture, no matter their experience level.”

Since 2009, USDA has given nearly 6,500 veterans $438 million in farm loans to purchase farmland and improve their operations, states USDA. "Since it was launched in January 2013, USDA's microloan program has provided more than $22.6 million in support to help 1,083 veterans grow their farming businesses."

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