The AgriSolar Clearinghouse, developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing its Follow the Sun tour to three dual-use farms in Massachusetts on August 10. Follow the Sun is a series of hands-on field trips to see firsthand the benefits of co-locating sustainable agriculture and solar energy. The Massachusetts tour includes visits to the University of Massachusetts Amherst South Deerfield research site, the Million Little Sunbeams family farm in Monson, and Grafton Solar in Grafton.

“AgriSolar allows us to harvest the sun twice. As America’s appetite for sustainably grown products and renewable energy continues to increase, agrisolar has the potential to provide both resources,” says NCAT Energy Program Director Dr. Stacie Peterson. “The research underway in Massachusetts combined with the working farms already using their land to produce food and energy provide us with a tremendous learning opportunity and hands-on experience for farmers to see how they might diversify their businesses with solar.”

Join Peterson, UMass researchers, and family farmers who are leading the way on growing crops beneath renewable-energy-producing solar arrays. Knowlton Farms in Grafton is using 13 acres to produce 6.2 megawatts of clean energy, avoiding nearly 6,200 tons of carbon emissions a year. At the UMASS South Deerfield demonstration farm, researchers are looking at the social, economic, and agricultural productivity impacts of pairing solar and farming.

“With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the UMass Clean Energy Extension and university colleagues in the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment and Resource Economics are researching the impacts of agrivoltaics on agricultural productivity and the farm economy,” says Dwayne Breger, Director, UMass Clean Energy Extension. “We are excited to build on the research at our experimental station with site trials embedded in commercial “dual-use” solar installations to bring more data and understanding across a broader range of agriculture of this technology and its role in agriculture and our renewable energy future.”

NCAT created the nation’s first AgriSolar Clearinghouse to connect farmers, ranchers, land managers, solar developers, and researchers with trusted, practical information to increase the appropriate co-location of solar and agriculture. It’s funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The AgriSolar Clearinghouse features a library of more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, a media hub featuring videos, podcasts, and relevant news, and a user forum to directly connect people interested in agrivoltaic development in real-time. Partner organizations include leading universities, the Smithsonian, sustainable agriculture and energy advocates, the Center for Rural Affairs, and the national energy laboratories.

The benefits of co-locating solar with appropriate agricultural land include producing food, conserving ecosystems, creating renewable energy, increasing pollinator habitat, and maximizing farm revenue.

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse’s free Follow the Sun Tour will stop at about a dozen agrivoltaic sites over the next two years. Future field trips will include visits to sites in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, New York and more. Sign up for the AgriSolar Extra to be sure you know about upcoming Follow the Sun Tour stops.

Community Partnership Seeks to Boost Green Energy and Climate Preparedness

 

Butte, MT— Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher, along with partners at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Montana Technological University, are inviting residents to help develop a community Sustainability, Health, and Resilience Plan (Butte SHARP). The plan will serve as a blueprint for economic development tied to green energy and a stronger local food system while helping the community prepare for climate disruptions such as drought, wildfire, and heat waves.

Gallagher said that city staff will work with a citizen steering committee and local businesses to develop the sustainability, health, and resilience plan, which will be incorporated into the BSB Comprehensive Plan and updates to zoning guidelines.

Butte-Silver Bow residents interested in serving on the steering committee should send an email or letter of interest to Jim Kambich, BSB Chief of Staff, jkambich@bsb.mt.gov, 155 W Granite Street, Butte, MT 59701. Steering Committee members will be selected by partners in the Resilient Butte project, including J.P. Gallagher at BSB, Les Cook at Montana Tech, and Steve Thompson at NCAT.

For those interested in specific topics, Gallagher also invited residents to participate in working groups focused on green energy and climate adaptation. The green energy committee will look at strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as solar energy development, innovative energy storage systems, and energy efficient homes and commercial buildings.

“There are going to be opportunities to boost our economy through new energy development, and Butte is well situated to benefit,” said Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher. “But we need to do this in a way that works best for our community, and that means planning ahead.”

The climate adaptation committee will focus on ways to minimize risks related to more volatile weather events and climate disruptions, which could include protection of municipal watersheds and water supply, stabilizing restoration of contaminated properties, redevelopment of brownfields, and safeguarding public health.

NCAT will coordinate community participation and educational programs, said Executive Director Steve Thompson. “NCAT provides technical assistance across the nation to develop practical solutions in support of community sustainability, regenerative agriculture, and clean energy. We have offices in 10 states, but Butte has been our headquarters for 46 years. We look forward to supporting our hometown through the Resilient Butte project.” 

To get involved in one of the working groups focused on local climate solutions, please contact Rylie Yaeger at NCAT: ryliey@ncat.org, 406-533-6644.

The public also can get involved by completing an online community survey to share your experiences, prioritize issues of concern, and identify economic development opportunities. Access the survey through the project website at www.ResilientButte.org.

Montana Tech Chancellor Les Cook said the university will provide technical expertise to the project. “Montana Tech appreciates the opportunity to partner with Butte-Silver Bow, NCAT and our community to support a healthy and prosperous future,” said Chancellor Les Cook. “There are issues that we need to address, and there are new opportunities that we would be wise to consider.”

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is teaming up with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union to bring NCAT’s free Armed to Farm training to Colorado for the first time. Armed to Farm will take place August 29-September 2, 2022, in Boulder. Farmer-veterans will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms for free hands-on learning experiences.

Armed to Farm trainings include an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on activities, and interactive classroom instruction. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will lead the sessions. Staff from USDA agencies and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.

“We’re eager to bring Armed to Farm back to the West, and to train in Colorado for the first time,” said Armed to Farm Program Director Margo Hale. “Armed to Farm has served more than 900 veterans across the country as they start or grow their own sustainable farm business.”  

Armed to Farm is a sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans. NCAT, a national nonprofit organization based in Butte, Montana, developed Armed to Farm in 2013 through a cooperative agreement with USDA-Rural Development. Farmer veterans learn how to make a business plan and market their products, how to access USDA programs, set business goals, and develop mentorships with seasoned farmers.

Armed to Farm blew me away,” said Patrick Conrey, Armed to Farm alum and General Manager of the Oil Barn in Berthoud, Colorado. “Two years into my own agricultural business and I still reflect on the immersive experience as a highlight. The combination of in-field and in-class activities kept me engaged and paved the way. I would highly recommend the program to any veteran who is looking to turn their passion into a successful business.”

This training is for military veterans in the West. The number of participants will be limited. Spouses or farm partners are welcome to attend with a veteran but must submit a separate application.

Click HERE to apply by July 15. NCAT will notify selected participants by July 22.

NCAT and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union are partnering to host this Armed to Farm event. This work is supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservations Service and the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. Successful applicants may also receive a travel stipend thanks to our partnership with California-based Ranchin’ Vets.

Learn more about NCAT’s Armed to Farm and additional training series at ARMEDTOFARM.ORG.

 

 

 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has launched its Regenerator’s Atlas of America, an interactive storytelling map connecting farmers, ranchers, and land managers who are taking steps to catch and hold more water in the soil. The Regenerator’s Atlas of America is part of NCAT’s Soil for Water project.

“From Maine to Minnesota, Texas to Idaho, the Regenerator’s Atlas of America is sharing the stories of farmers and ranchers who are finding ways to catch and hold more water in the soils, making their businesses more resilient to drought, erosion, and extreme weather,” NCAT Executive Director Steve Thompson said. “The Regenerator’s Atlas of America is creating a virtual gathering place and information-sharing platform for the growing number of agricultural producers who know that soil health is key to a strong business.”

NCAT’s Soil for Water project is about connecting producers with each other to share land management practices that improve soil health, catch more water in soil, reduce erosion, sustain diverse plant and animal life, and filter out pollutants, all while improving the profitability of their businesses.

Doug Garrison, owner of DS Family Farm near Lincoln, Nebraska is among the nearly 200 farmers who have joined the free and voluntary Soil for Water network, and he’s also added his place to the Regenerator’s Atlas of America. For 25 years, Garrison has been practicing regenerative grazing and wants to connect with other ranchers who are trying similar methods.

“My main interest in Soil for Water is to learn from others who are practicing regenerative ag in their specific context. We like to see what others are doing, think about what they are doing and see what their results are,” Garrison said. “Then, we may take some of their ideas or techniques and adapt it to our farm context and try it.  We look for both similar and opposite techniques from what we are doing. You never know where you might find the next breakthrough idea for your operation.”

Unhealthy soil doesn’t absorb much water. Healthy soil acts like a sponge, capable of holding hundreds of thousands of gallons of water in an acre. Climate trends across much of the U.S. indicate longer, hotter drought periods punctuated by storms that often are more severe, according to a 2021 USDA report. Regenerative farming practices enable the soil to capture rainfall that otherwise might disappear as runoff. Economically, these practices can increase crop and forage production, drought resilience, access to lucrative new markets, and therefore profitability. Environmentally, they can improve soil health and biodiversity.

The Regenerator’s Atlas of America joins the Soil for Water Forum as another way farmers and ranchers can connect and learn from one another.

To learn more about the newly expanded Soil for Water project, add your pin to the Regenerator’s Atlas or chat at the Forum visit SOILFORWATER.ORG.

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THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY has been helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources since 1976. Headquartered in Butte, Montana, NCAT has field offices in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Learn more and become a friend of NCAT at NCAT.ORG.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with Appalachian State University’s Frontline to Farm program to bring the free Armed to Farm training to North Carolina for the first time. Armed to Farm will take place July 25-29, 2022, at the Appalachian State University campus in Boone. Farmer-veterans will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms for hands-on learning experiences.

Armed to Farm trainings include an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on activities, and interactive classroom instruction. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions, along with staff from Appalachian State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension. USDA agencies and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.

“We’re eager to bring Armed to Farm to North Carolina,” said NCAT Armed to Farm Program Director Margo Hale. “Armed to Farm has served more than 800 veterans in all corners of the country as they start or grow their own sustainable farm business.”  

Armed to Farm is a sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans. NCAT, a national nonprofit organization based in Butte, Montana, developed Armed to Farm in 2013 through a cooperative agreement with USDA-Rural Development. Farmer veterans learn how to make a business plan and market their products, how to access USDA programs, set business goals, and develop mentorships with seasoned farmers.

“The High Country of North Carolina is a beautiful farming community with great partnerships among the university, cooperative extension, local farmers and nonprofit organizations,” said Dr. Anne Fanatico, Co-Director of Frontline to Farm. “Together we build community for resilience in food systems.”

This training is for military veterans in the Southeast. The number of participants will be limited. Spouses or farm partners are welcome to attend with a veteran but must submit a separate application.

Click HERE to apply by June 10. NCAT will notify selected participants by June 17.

Armed to Farm North Carolina is supported by BFRDP grant 2020-49400-32401 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Successful applicants may also receive a travel stipend thanks to our partnership with California-based Ranchin’ Vets.

Learn more about NCAT’s Armed to Farm and additional training series at ARMEDTOFARM.ORG.

 

THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY has been helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources since 1976. Headquartered in Butte, Montana, NCAT has field offices in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Learn more and become a friend of NCAT at NCAT.ORG

FRONTLINE TO FARM, a program sponsored by Appalachian State University’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development and Department of Communication, helps military veterans and beginning farmers get started in sustainable farming as a livelihood. We support practices that raise healthy food, mitigate climate change and build community, while providing support and reconnection for those who have served. The work of Frontline to Farm is supported by our flagship project Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program 2020-49400-32401 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Learn more at frontlinetofarm.appstate.edu.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s popular summer gardening and market-farming workshop series begins May 21 with a practical look at preparing an organic garden.

NCAT operates a high-altitude urban demonstration farm in Butte through its Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training program (SIFT) that is focused on food production for the good of the community. NCAT staff will host the free monthly Saturday workshops from 10 a.m. to noon. RSVP for the SIFT Series events here.

The workshops will be held at NCAT’s SIFT farm, located at 3040 Continental Drive in Butte.

The May 21 workshop will be a hands-on lesson in composting basics, including organic potting mixes, organic soil amendments, cover crops, and mulching methods. It also will cover scheduling planting throughout the growing season and the importance of “hardening off” plants – allowing them to transition from an indoor environment to what can be a challenging growing environment in the Butte area.

The workshop is being held in conjunction with Montana Tech’s Earth Month and the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program.

The other workshops on tap throughout the summer include:

June 25Analyzing your Soil and Creating a Management Plan: This workshop will include methods to analyze soil types, conduct water infiltration tests, and review soil tests. It will look at management strategies to address the needs of the soil and develop a plan to meet those needs. The workshop will address tillage and the degradation of soils; irrigation and soil water-holding capacities; and custom cover crop mixes to meet soil needs.

July 2. Benefits of Increasing Biodiversity: This workshop will focus on how building more biodiverse ecosystems can be beneficial by increasing pollinator habitat, bolstering integrated pest management, and mitigating risk in cropping strategies. The workshop will include planting drought-tolerant native species and touring SIFT’s native hedgerow.

August 13. Harnessing the Sun’s Energy for Season Extension in Southwest Montana: In conjunction with the 11th Annual Montana Clean Energy Fair, which will be held at NCAT’s headquarters, SIFT will be holding an open house and tour. Topics will include high-tunnel construction and solar passive greenhouses, as well as the costs, construction, and functions of useful season-extension tools for Southwest Montana. Visitors will learn about using the resources readily available to operate a sustainable farm.

September 10. Choosing Varieties to Grow in Butte: This workshop will include NCAT’s annual taste test of successful varieties of fruits and vegetables grown as a trial on the SIFT Farm. The discussion will include timing, growing tips, and seed selection for high yields in Butte. A discussion of seed saving basics for a resilient farm and garden is also planned.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has added key executive staff to its leadership team, building on NCAT’s 46-year reputation as a trusted, practical connector for sustainable agriculture and energy solutions.

“NCAT has a long history of helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources,” said Executive Director Steve Thompson. “We’ve now added to our top-notch team of energy and agriculture experts to include an operational leader, communications expert, and top nonprofit fundraiser which will allow NCAT to serve even more people.”

Virginia Kashdan is NCAT’s Chief Operating Officer. Before joining NCAT, Virginia was awarded the Science & Technology Policy Fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science focusing on water quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Water in Washington D.C. After moving back to Montana, she became the director of the Lincoln County Asbestos Resource Program, supporting Operations & Maintenance activities on the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site. While in Libby, she volunteered on the Board of Directors for the Troy Farmers Market and became Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Libby Community Garden.

 

Emilie Ritter Saunders is NCAT’s Communications Director. Emilie is an organizational leader with executive-level experience as a communicator, public policy advisor, and strategic planner. Her approach is driven by strategy, multimedia storytelling, data, and effective project management to amplify and elevate people, initiatives, and organizations. Previously, Emilie led communications and public affairs for the Montana Department of Commerce and Montana Office of Public Instruction. She spent a decade as a journalist with NPR member stations.

 

 

Michael Barth is NCAT’s Development Director. Michael joined NCAT in 2022, attracted by its programming and the education and training offered in agriculture, energy, and sustainability. He believes it is critically important to provide opportunities for all individuals to access the transformative power of education. Prior to joining NCAT, he spent 17 years in development and nonprofit management with the Montana Technological University Foundation. He is experienced in prospect research, project and event management, planned giving, and fundraising systems and software. Michael is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program at the Lilly School of Philanthropy.

NCAT is a trusted, practical connector for individuals and businesses who are working to leave our world better than we found it. We do this work through a trusted knowledge base, by providing individualized technical assistance, facilitating practical solutions, and connecting people with each other to support sustainable agriculture and clean energy systems. NCAT was created in response to the energy crisis of the 1970s to develop appropriate, low-cost, energy-saving strategies for underserved communities. In 1987, NCAT expanded its mission to include sustainable agriculture.

Headquartered in Butte, Montana, NCAT has field offices in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

 

For five years, ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture’s Voices from the Field podcast has connected experts from around the world with the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s own specialists for cutting-edge conversations about sustainable agriculture, community resilience, and local food systems. Today, the series marks a milestone, posting its 250th podcast episode: Practical Steps for Reducing Synthetic Fertilizer Use.

“ATTRA has been a leader in the sustainable-agriculture community for decades because it has been a trusted source of information from the get-go,” said NCAT Executive Director Steve Thompson. Voices from the Field continues that tradition as it reaches thousands of listeners each week.”

Voices from Field is produced by NCAT as part of ATTRA, its premier sustainable agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development.

NCAT is a trusted, practical connector for individuals and businesses who are working to leave our world better than we found it. We do this work through a trusted knowledge base, by providing individualized technical assistance, facilitating practical solutions, and connecting people with each other to support sustainable agriculture and clean energy systems. Voices from the Field has featured such well-known experts as Fred Provenza, who reflected on the link between human health and animal health. Nicole Masters gave us the skinny on the soil microbiome. Allen Williams had a lot to say about grazing management.

Equally compelling have been the stories that farmers and ranchers from around the nation have shared with listeners about their own trials and successes – and the practical advice they have to offer as the result of that hard-earned experience. From episodes on cover crops and soil health to agrivoltaics and integrating livestock, Voices from the Field continues to spark curiosity and deliver practical information.

Whether you’re already a fan of Voices from the Field or new to the podcast, visit the ATTRA website at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG or go to your favorite podcast platform to download these conversations and subscribe to future episodes that are released each Wednesday.

For more than 35 years, the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program has been helping farmers and ranchers grow nutritious food and operate successful businesses without synthetic fertilizer. Now, NCAT has released a new toolkit with trusted and practical resources for farmers who want to transition away from the use of synthetic fertilizers.

“As the cost of synthetic fertilizers and global food prices continue to climb, NCAT is releasing a roadmap for farmers who are looking for a more self-reliant and resilient method of farming,” said NCAT Southeast Regional Director and Arkansas farmer Margo Hale. “A growing number of farmers are opting out of the high-input model of conventional agriculture, which we see now is so vulnerable to global events like war and supply chain disruption.”

As the world’s farmers watch the cost of synthetic fertilizer continue to increase, and global food prices shatter records kept by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the global food system is being stressed like never before. There is a more stable, resilient model being used in every corner of the United States. These farmers rely on biological sources of nitrogen, breaking free of an often-volatile global marketplace.

Farming without synthetic fertilizers is within reach for large-scale food producers, and it’s a requirement for certified organic farmers. Montana grain-grower Bob Quinn transitioned his family’s conventional farm to an organic one back in 1989. Quinn brought Khorasan wheat to the mainstream marketplace with his brand KAMUT. In Maryland, Ron Holter manages his 150-cow seasonal dairy on grass alone, with no supplementary grain. Holter’s dairy has been free of synthetic fertilizer since 1995. Dave Brandt began cover cropping his Ohio corn and soybeans in 1978. Cover crops have maintained his cash-crop yields while reducing nitrogen fertilizer use by nearly 90 percent. Brandt credits cover crops with increasing soil microbial activity naturally, which provides nutrients to the food he grows and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity.

Data show consumer demand for certified organic and other regeneratively produced foods continues to increase. The sale of organic products in the U.S. has grown more than 30 percent since 2016, and the number of organic producers is up almost 40 percent. Farmers who use regenerative methods, but might not be certified organic, are no doubt on the rise, too.

Shifting to a production method that is not reliant on synthetic fertilizers can be accomplished strategically over a three- to five-year transitional period. NCAT’s new toolkit guides farmers as they learn to use cover crops, managed grazing, and alternative soil amendments to naturally boost renewable nitrogen levels needed to maintain long-term productivity. These are accessible tools that can result in reduced input costs, increased self-reliance, and more nutritious food grown at small and large scales.

Access the free toolkit and decades of trusted, practical resources here: https://attra.ncat.org/how-to-reduce-synthetic-fertilizer-use/ .

EXPERT VOICES

NINA PRATER
Expertise Areas: Livestock, Soil Health, Organic Crops

Nina Prater has been with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) since 2016 as a Soil Specialist and Outreach Coordinator in the Southeast Regional Office. She strives to help farmers understand soils as a living entity so that they are able to farm profitably and build healthy soils for long-term success. Nina also works closely with the Gulf States Regional Office staff to coordinate outreach efforts in that region. Nina served as an Energy Corps member in 2013 and worked for her local conservation district for 2.5 years before joining NCAT. Nina and her husband Jeremy own and operate a small sustainable livestock operation in the Ozarks hills of Arkansas, where they raise meat goats, cattle, hogs, and poultry. They utilize adaptive grazing methods to build soil health in their pastures.

LEE RINEHART
Expertise Areas: Livestock, Organic Livestock, Soil Health, Grazing, Pasture Ecology

Lee Rinehart is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he studied animal science and agricultural education. He currently works as an agriculture specialist in the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Northeast Regional Office, where he focuses on pasture and rangeland ecology and grazing systems. He has served as county Extension agent in Texas and Montana, organic farm educator in Pennsylvania, and cattle ranch manager in central Texas. His specialty is developing grazing plans and assisting producers in using animals to renovate pastureland. Lee is a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy Reserve and spends his free time biking, sailing, and renovating his 1925 Cape Cod house in Northeast Pennsylvania.

 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing its free Armed to Farm training back to the Hill Country, after hosting a 2015 training in Castroville, Texas. Armed to Farm will take place May 16-20, 2022, in Fredericksburg. Farmer-veterans will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms for hands-on learning experiences. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 8.

Armed to Farm trainings include an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on activities, and interactive classroom instruction. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the sessions. Staff from USDA agencies and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.

“We’re eager to bring Armed to Farm back to the Lone Star State,” said Armed to Farm Program Director Margo Hale. “Armed to Farm has served more than 800 veterans in all corners of the country as they start or grow their own sustainable farm business.”  

Armed to Farm is a sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans. NCAT, a national nonprofit organization based in Butte, Montana, developed Armed to Farm in 2013 through a cooperative agreement with USDA-Rural Development. Farmer veterans learn how to make a business plan and market their products, how to access USDA programs, set business goals, and develop mentorships with seasoned farmers.

“The education that I received has been invaluable for the launching and development of our family farm, Mind Your Garden Urban Farm,” said Armed to Farm alumnus Steven Nuñez, who farms with his family in Fort Worth. “The NCAT staff were truly knowledgeable and always willing to help and answer questions. The three most helpful takeaways for me were learning of the many resources available for veterans interested in a career in agriculture, the importance of diversifying income streams for the farm operation, and most importantly, understanding how crucial it is to cultivate a new generation of farmers to carry on the service to our country that our aging farmers have provided for decades.”

This training is for military veterans in Southwest. The number of participants will be limited. Spouses or farm partners are welcome to attend with a veteran but must submit a separate application.

Click HERE to apply by April 8. NCAT will notify selected participants by April 15.

Armed to Farm Texas is supported by funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. Successful applicants may also receive a travel stipend thanks to our partnership with California-based Ranchin’ Vets.

Learn more about NCAT’s Armed to Farm and additional training series at ARMEDTOFARM.ORG.