Applications are now open for Armed to Urban Farm, an intensive training program for military veterans interested in sustainable urban farming. Developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden, Armed to Urban Farm allows attendees to get an in-depth look at sustainable, profitable, small-scale urban farming enterprises and to learn about urban farming as a career. This hybrid training will include online classroom sessions September 1, 8, 15, and 22, plus in-person sessions at urban farms October 4-5 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Armed to Urban Farm is an outgrowth of NCAT’s popular Armed to Farm program, a week-long training that combines classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. The two organizations partnered on similar urban farm trainings in 2018 and 2019.
“The Armed to Farm program has served nearly 900 military veterans from 43 states since it launched in 2013,” said NCAT Executive Director Steve Thompson. “We are pleased to continue working with the United States Botanic Garden to offer this unique learning opportunity for veterans interested in urban, sustainable agriculture and how they can start or grow their own business.”
“The United States Botanic Garden is thrilled to help bring this program back to the Mid-Atlantic,” said Saharah Moon Chapotin, Executive Director. “After the successes we had in Washington, D.C and Cleveland with the veteran community, it is wonderful to be able to expand this outreach in urban agriculture to the Baltimore area. We are so pleased to have the opportunity to partner again with NCAT and offer this impactful program to a new cohort of veterans.”
Participants will learn about a wide range of subjects—including whole-farm planning, farm financial planning, urban crop production, urban soils, marketing, and more—and come away with a solid foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farming enterprise. They also will join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors. Instructors will include NCAT sustainable agriculture specialists, U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel, and experienced urban farmers.
Armed to Urban Farm is available to military veterans who are interested in starting an urban farm or who have been operating an urban farm for less than 10 years. The program is free for those accepted to the program.
Veterans can visit NCAT’s Armed to Farm webpage to complete an application by August 13, 2021. Selection priority will be given to military veterans and their spouses or farm partners from the Mid-Atlantic region. The number of participants will be limited. NCAT will notify selected participants by August 20, 2021.