NCAT invites veterans to Armed to Farm session at Small Farms Conference, Oct. 24

Veterans farming in the Midwest and organizations serving farmer veterans are invited to an Armed to Farm program, Friday, October 24, from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at the Small Farm Trade Show and Conference in Mexico, Missouri.

The program will feature a viewing of the 2013 documentary “Ground Operations: From Battlefields to Farmfields.” The film will be followed by a panel presentation and time for discussion with audience members. Panelists will include:

– Veteran Brian Andrews, a beginning diversified farmer in the Springfield, Missouri, area;

– Veteran Cody Waters, a commodity crop farmer with operations in Missouri and Illinois;

– Mark Mudd, Senior Farm Loan Officer, Farm Service Agency, Fulton, Missouri;

– Karen Funkenbusch, Director, Missouri AgrAbility Project and MU Extension Rural Safety and Health Extension Specialist.

The program will be moderated by Ann Y. Robinson, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Midwest Regional Director.

The panel’s purpose is to offer a forum for veterans, their family members, and others who serve veterans to learn more about the interests and needs of veterans who have made, or desire to make, careers in agriculture, as well as better understand programs available to veterans, especially for beginning farmers.

The 22nd National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference is one of the largest annual small farm shows in the United States. The event features a number of seminars and short courses, Farmers’ Forum talks, demonstrations, exhibits, association meetings, vendors, and door prizes.  This year’s keynoter Timothy Reinbott PhD, Director of the University of Missouri’s Bradford Research Center and an expert on cover crops and community gardening, will speak on Thursday morning. Other program topics include carbon-smart farming with biochar, integrating cover crops into farming systems, and aquaculture, with short courses on vermiculture, healing the land with mob grazing, biochar, and cover crops.

Register or find the full schedule at: General admission is $8 for one day and $12 for three days. The location is the Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards.

Conference sponsors are NCAT, Lincoln University, Truman State University, and Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards. Additional assistance for the Armed to Farm session is provided by the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Questions about the Armed to Farm program on Friday morning should be directed to NCAT Midwest Regional Office, at


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