Armed to Farm: Sustainable Agriculture Training For Military Veterans

What is Armed to Farm?

Armed to Farm is Sustainable Agriculture Training For Military Veterans
Learn more about current opportunities, technical assistance, and online tutorials.

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Note: NCAT's Armed to Farm information is also available in PDF format for easy printing and sharing. Thank you!

ATTRA ATF logo

Veteran Resources

How Can NCAT Help You?

Farmers and ranchers are looking for reliable information on sustainable and organic agriculture, on how to get started in farming, on how to qualify for government programs that reward land stewardship and resource conservation, and on how to pursue such profitable niche markets as organic meats and grains or agriculture tourism. The answers to these and many other similar questions are available free from an NCAT program called ATTRA - Sustainable Agriculture.



Current Opportunities

  • September 9-13th, 2019 ~ Armed to Farm ~ Cleveland, Ohio ~ Apply Here!

Coming in 2019: Armed to Farm 2.0

Armed to Farm 2.0 is a next-level sustainable agriculture training designed for those who have attended an Armed to Farm in the past. ATF 2.0 will have more in-depth curriculum on business planning, financial management, marketing, and scaling-up production. We will tailor hands-on activities at area farms to participants' needs and will focus on more advanced production, marketing, and entrepreneurship techniques. There will be plenty of time for information sharing and networking. NCAT will provide lodging, most meals, and transportation to local farms during this week-long event.


Publications

ATTRA publications cover a wide range of topics, including:


Visit www.attra.ncat.org to view a complete list of our publications. Most are available to download in PDF format.


Tutorials

ATTRA offers free, online self-instruction courses to help beginning farmers and producers who want to diversify their operations or expand their markets. The courses include a variety of educational tools such as worksheets, narrated PowerPoint presentations, videos, and tip sheets.

 

Technical Assistance

ATTRA's friendly staff members are knowledgeable about livestock, horticulture, agronomy, organic farming, marketing, farm energy, and many other sustainable agriculture topics, and are available to provide free assistance. ATTRA offers several ways producers can contact an agriculture specialist, who will research questions and send the client a report, including sources of more information.

 

Website

In addition to over 300 publications, ATTRA's website contains webinars, videos, searchable databases, plus tools to keep you up-to-date on what's happening in sustainable agriculture:


What participants say about Armed to Farm training:

"This was one of the best workshops, if not the best, in any field I have been involved in. It was a great mix of hands-on and classroom instruction. The instructors were very experienced and knowledgeable."

"As a Wounded Warrior Project Alumni, two-time Iraq veteran, and beginning farmer I can, without hesitation, recommend the Armed to Farm program to any veteran seeking knowledge in a wide variety of agricultural topics."

"Thank you! I feel that this program has changed the way we will farm in the future."

Ann with goat Participants in the Armed to Farm training held in Jackson, Miss., Sept. 22-26, 2014.

What is Armed to Farm?

Armed to Farm is Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans.

NCAT has been involved in targeted veteran outreach and assistance since 2010. NCAT agriculture specialists have hosted and been involved in at least 17 veteran focused trainings, reaching over 800 veterans across the US.

NCAT has partnered with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Farmer Veteran Coalition, University of Arkansas, Growing Warriors, and other sustainable agriculture organizations to train veterans interested in sustainable agriculture careers.

The goals of Armed to Farm are:

  • To train veterans and their partners to operate sustainable crop and livestock enterprises
  • To create a network of veterans and their families who are starting careers in sustainable agriculture
  • To provide technical assistance to participants as they start and improve their farming operations

Trainings range in length from conference presentations, two-day workshops, and week-long training events. The multi-day programs include a mix of educational classes— covering topics such as risk management, business planning, and marketing—and hands-on activities at successful livestock, crop, and agritourism operations.

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions. Additional contributors will include staff from the University of Arkansas, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and experienced crop and livestock producers.

Contact Margo Hale at 479-442-9824 or margoh@ncat.org for more information about Armed to Farm

Please note:

  • Attendees are responsible for their travel to and from the event. Please let us know if travel cost is an issue.
  • Space is limited and NCAT reserves the right to select those people it deems would benefit most by this event.

Partners:

 

USDA logo ATTRA Logo

Funding for Armed to Farm has come from NCAT's ATTRA - Sustainable Agriculture program, USDA Rural Business Cooperative Services, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, projects with the University of Arkansas and Cornell University, USDA Risk Management Agency and Swords to Plowshares.

 


 

Armed to Farm News

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Cleveland, OH

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Cleveland, OH

In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and Holden Forests & Gardens, NCAT is bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) veterans training to Cleveland, Ohio, for a special event focused on urban farming. Armed to Urban Farm will give military veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn about urban farming as a career.

About Armed to Urban Farm

ATF combines engaging classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. Participants will learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, urban soils, land access, vegetable production, and more. Participants will gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farming enterprise. In addition, ATF attendees will join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors.

Instructors will include NCAT sustainable agriculture specialists and U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies, plus producers experienced in an urban setting.

Veterans can visit www.ncat.org/atf_OH to complete an application by July 26, 2019. The program is available to military veterans who are interested in starting an urban farm or who are beginning urban farmers (less than 10 years). All veterans are welcome to apply, but those from Northern Ohio will receive priority. Spouses and farming partners are also invited to apply. NCAT will notify selected participants by August 2.

Dates, Location, and Cost

Armed to Urban Farm is scheduled for September 9-13, 2019. Participants will stay at the historic Glidden House hotel and attend classes at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The training will be divided between classroom time and travel to urban farms in the Cleveland area for tours and hands-on activities.

The event is free for those chosen to attend; lodging, transportation to local urban farms, and most meals will be provided. Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from the event.

Hosts

NCAT and the USBG are partners in this program and will organize and host the Armed to Urban Farm event in Cleveland, in collaboration with Holden Forests & Gardens.

Questions?

Please contact Andy Pressman, andyp@ncat.org, (479) 587-3475.

NCAT, US Botanic Garden, and Holden Forests and Gardens logos

About the National Center for Appropriate Technology
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.

About the United States Botanic Garden
The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. The Garden informs visitors about the importance and fundamental value and diversity of plants, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological significance. With over a million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. The USBG is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. www.USBG.gov

About Holden Forests & Gardens
Holden Forests & Gardens includes the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio and the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland’s University Circle cultural district. The organization is making a positive impact in the region through urban greening and forestry initiatives, environmental research, nature-based educational programs, and world-class visitor experiences to its two campuses. Holden Forests & Gardens envisions a future in which vibrant green communities and diverse native forests flourish and sustain life. holdenfg.org

NCAT Southeast Hosts Inaugural Armed to Farm 2.0

NCAT Southeast Hosts Inaugural Armed to Farm 2.0

We held our first Armed to Farm 2.0 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, February 25-March 1, 2019. This training was open to veterans who had previously attended one of our Armed to Farm training events. We had a fantastic group of 18 participants, from 10 states, for the week. They represented nine Armed to Farm events from… Continue Reading

Applications Available for Indiana Armed to Farm Veteran Training

Applications Available for Indiana Armed to Farm Veteran Training

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is now accepting applications from military veterans who want to attend our week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training. ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. About Armed to Farm ATF’s engaging blend of farm tours,… Continue Reading

Meeting with a Mission: Helping Veterans Succeed in Agriculture

Meeting with a Mission: Helping Veterans Succeed in Agriculture

NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and Armed to Farm Coordinator Robyn Metzger recently traveled to Kansas City for the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) Stakeholders Conference. Following is their report on the trip. From November 14-17, we joined hundreds of farmer-veterans, representatives from government agencies, and other support organizations at the FVC Stakeholders Conference. These… Continue Reading

A look back at the California Armed to Farm 2018

We finally did it! We brought NCAT’s Armed to Farm (ATF) training to California. The first California Armed to Farm training was host to 27 individual beginning farmers representing all branches of the military. Some came from as far away as Arizona and Washington in their efforts to bridge the gap between the military service… Continue Reading

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Washington, D.C.

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Washington, D.C.

In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), NCAT is bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training to Washington, D.C., for a special event focused on urban farming. Armed to Urban Farm will give veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn about urban farming as a viable career.… Continue Reading

Applications Available for Armed to Farm in New Hampshire

Applications Available for Armed to Farm in New Hampshire

Deadline to Apply is April 27 The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing its Armed to Farm training to New Hampshire. Armed to Farm gives military veterans an opportunity to learn about transitioning to a farming life. Armed to Farm combines engaging classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. Participants learn about… Continue Reading

Applications Available for Armed to Farm in California

Applications Available for Armed to Farm in California

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training to California for the first time. ATF gives veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career. ATF combines engaging classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. Participants learn about… Continue Reading

Veteran Scholarships Available for Sustainable Ag Conference

Veteran Scholarships Available for Sustainable Ag Conference

Annual Southern SAWG conference focuses on practical advice for farmers. Limited scholarships are available for military veterans who would like to attend Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s (SAWG) annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. Learn more → Continue Reading