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


Coming in 2020: 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

Farmer Veteran COVID-19 Listening Session

Farmer Veteran COVID-19 Listening Session

Please join NCAT for a listening and information session on Tuesday, April 14, at 11 a.m. CDT. During these uncertain times NCAT hopes to create a space for farmer veterans where you can share your challenges and strategies for resiliency. Most importantly, we want to give you a chance to connect with each other.

Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director and director of NCAT’s Armed to Farm program, along with NCAT Northeast Regional Director Andy Pressman, will facilitate the listening session. Rusty Rumley, Senior Staff Attorney with the National Agricultural Law Center, will join them to share information on legal issues and how COVID-19 is impacting farmers. He will also take questions from participants. In addition, agriculture specialists from each of NCAT’s six regional offices will be available to answer questions.

There is no registration required for this listening session, but attendance is limited to 250. To join from your computer, tablet, or smartphone simply click here:
https://www.gotomeet.me/MargoHale1/farmer-veteran-covid-19-listening-session.

You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (571) 317-3122. Enter access code 639-668-077 to join.

If you have not used GoToMeeting before, click the following link to get the app so you’ll be ready to go when it’s time for the session: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/639668077.

If you have questions, please contact Margo Hale at margoh@ncat.org or 479-575-1383.

Additional Information

For resources on food safety, alternative marketing options, financial assistance, and more, visit NCAT’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture COVID-19 Response page. NCAT’s agriculture specialists are available by phone and email to answer questions. Call 800-246-9140 or email askanag@ncat.org.

About the National Agricultural Law Center

The National Agricultural Law Center (www.nationalaglawcenter.org) serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The Center is the only institution of its kind in the nation, serving producers, attorneys, Cooperative Extension Service professionals, state and federal policymakers, and others on a daily basis. Headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Center is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The Center is the lead institution for the eXtension Agricultural and Food Law Community of Practice.

Armed to Farm: 2019 Year in Review

Armed to Farm: 2019 Year in Review

Our 2019 Armed to Farm (ATF) trainings came to a close back in October, after a record seven week-long events. We held our first ATF in the Midwest, and marked a milestone – our 20th training. We also introduced Armed to Farm 2.0, a next-level training created just for Armed to Farm alumni. Want to… Continue Reading

Milestones and a Reunion at Armed to Farm Indiana

Milestones and a Reunion at Armed to Farm Indiana

We completed our twentieth Armed to Farm training, and our first in the Midwest U.S., back in May! We were excited to partner with Farmer Veteran Coalition of Indiana and AgrAbility to host a group of 18 veterans in Crawfordsville, Indiana, May 13-17. It was great to reconnect with Sara Creech, alumnus of our very… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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