The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with Holistic Management International (HMI) to bring its Armed to Farm training to the Southwest. Armed to Farm will take place March 28-April 1, 2022, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Participants 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. Staff from HMI, USDA agencies, and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.

This training is for military veterans in the Southwest, with preference given to those in New Mexico. The number of participants will be limited. Spouses or farm partners are welcome as well but must submit a separate application.

Click HERE to apply by February 11. NCAT will notify selected participants by February 18.


NCAT is organizing and hosting this Armed to Farm event in partnership with Holistic Management International. Funding is provided by USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.


Please contact Margo Hale at or 479-442-9824.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology and Natural Resources Conservation Service will partner to host the seventh annual Latino Farmer Conference, a Spanish-language sustainable agriculture event created for Latino farmers.

“Farmers who attend the Latino Farmer Conference are more likely to be starting out, and more than half of them grow specialty crops,” said NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Omar Rodriguez. “These are just two reasons why an annual learning event created by and for Latino farmers is such a valuable resource.”

The Latino Farmer Conference is a yearly event that seeks to build networks and provide learning opportunities for farmers on a range of technical and social issues relating to sustainable agriculture. The free conference aims to provide, trusted, practical, and culturally relevant information. Each session is created based on farmer feedback, and all content is presented in Spanish.

This year’s conference will be virtual and is scheduled for December 8, January 12, and February 9. Conference session topics will include:

  • 8: Farming with Drought and Strategies for Adaptation
  • 12: Business Management, Marketing, and Farm Labor Management
  • 9: Integrated Pest Management and Organic Farming

This year’s online format will allow new farmers and partner organizations to become aware of and access the quality information that is typically shared to an exclusive group of in-person attendees. Additionally, recordings of past presentations and other resources can be accessed at any time through NCAT’s Latino Farmer Conference website or the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture website.

The Latino Farmer Conference is hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and would not be possible without the generous donations made by partners and friends working in regenerative agriculture.


Regístrese Gratis para la Conferencia del Agricultor Latino de NCAT
NCAT y NRCS se asocian para organizar la séptima conferencia de agricultura sostenible en español

El Centro Nacional para Tecnología Apropiada y el Servicio de Conservación de Recursos Naturales presentan la séptima Conferencia del Agricultor Latino, un evento de agricultura sostenible en español creado para todos los agricultores de habla hispana.

“Generalmente, los agricultores que asisten a la Conferencia del Agricultor Latino son principiantes y más de la mitad de ellos producen cultivos de especialidad,” dijo el especialista en agricultura sostenible de NCAT, Omar Rodríguez. “Estas son solo dos razones por las que un evento de aprendizaje anual creado por y para agricultores latinos es un recurso tan valioso.”

Este evento anual busca construir redes y brindar oportunidades de aprendizaje para los agricultores interesados en una variedad de temas técnicos y sociales relacionados con la agricultura sostenible. La conferencia es gratuita y tiene como objetivo proporcionar información confiable, práctica, y culturalmente relevante. Cada sesión se crea en base a los comentarios de los agricultores y todo el contenido se presenta en español.

La conferencia de este año será virtual y está programada para el 8 de diciembre, el 12 de enero y el 9 de febrero. Los temas del año incluirán:

  • 8 de diciembre: Manejo Inteligente del Agua: La sequia y estrategias para adaptación
  • 12 de enero: Gestión Comercial, Marketing, y Acceso a la Mano de Obra
  • 9 de febrero: Manejo Integrado de Plagas y Agricultura Orgánica

El formato en línea de este año permitirá a los nuevos agricultores y organizaciones asociadas a conocer y acceder información de calidad que generalmente se comparte con un grupo exclusivo de agricultores quien atienden en persona. Además, las presentaciones grabadas y otros recursos se pueden acceder en cualquier momento a través del sitio web de la Conferencia del Agricultor Latino o el sitio web de agricultura sostenible de ATTRA.

La Conferencia del Agricultor Latino es organizada por el Centro Nacional de Tecnología Apropiada (NCAT) en colaboración con el Servicio de Conservación de Recursos Naturales (NRCS) y no sería posible sin las generosas donaciones hechas por socios y amigos que trabajan en agricultura regenerativa.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Ranchin’ Vets have teamed up to offer a new level of support for military veterans interested in sustainable agriculture training opportunities. Ranchin’ Vets will fund a one-time transportation stipend directly to veterans selected to participate in NCAT’s Armed to Farm training program.

Armed to Farm is a sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans. NCAT manages the program with support from a variety of funding sources, including a cooperative agreement with USDA-Rural Development. Since launching in 2013, Armed to Farm has supported more than 800 farmer veterans from 45 states with hands-on and classroom learning opportunities. 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 has always been free for veterans and their spouses or farm partners to attend. NCAT covers the cost of lodging, most meals, and local transportation during the training. However, attendees have always been responsible for getting themselves to the training site, which could require long drives across several states or even airfare.

“We want everyone who is accepted into the Armed to Farm program to be able to participate, so we are excited to partner with Ranchin’ Vets to open this opportunity to even more farmer veterans,” said Margo Hale, Armed to Farm Program Director. “Although the training itself is free, the cost of traveling to the training can be substantial and has been a barrier to veterans attending Armed to Farm in the past. We’re very thankful for this opportunity to offer another level of support to the farmer veterans who attend Armed to Farm.”

Ranchin’ Vets, a California based 501 c (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2014, serves veterans on a national level, with a mission to assist in the reintegration of veterans from military to civilian life through a variety of programs offered within the ranching and agricultural industry.

The Ranchin’ Vets Operation Hire A Vet Program connects veterans with opportunities within the agricultural industry. Veterans in the program who need additional support receive a temporary stipend towards transportation, housing and clothing as they pursue agricultural opportunities.

“Through our Operation Hire A Vet Program, we recognized the need for a training program that will equip veterans with the tools they need to be successful in their agricultural endeavors. This partnership with Armed to Farm is an incredible opportunity to work together to assure that all veterans who are interested in pursuing this path will have access to resources that will help them thrive,” said Corey Downs, Ranchin’ Vets Program Director. “Our programs go hand-in-hand, providing veterans with fully funded access to professional agricultural training, as well as assistance in seeking and obtaining agricultural employment. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Armed to Farm.”  

The travel stipends will be available starting with the next Armed to Farm training, scheduled for Dec. 1-3, 2021, in Athens, Georgia. For Armed to Farm participants to receive a transportation stipend, they must successfully register with Ranchin’ Vets.

For more information about Ranchin’ Vets, visit See ARMEDTOFARM.ORG for more about NCAT’s Armed to Farm program.

By Robyn Metzger, Armed to Farm Coordinator

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has launched a new website for its farmer veteran training program, Armed to Farm. The site, ARMEDTOFARM.ORG, features program news, promotes upcoming training opportunities, and connects alumni with sustainable agriculture resources and other farmer veterans.  

NCAT developed the first Armed to Farm training in 2013 through a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Project with the University of Arkansas. The program has expanded over the past eight years with support from a cooperative agreement with USDA-Rural Development. The program has helped more than 800 veterans, and their spouses or farm partners, from 45 states. 

Visitors to the new Armed to Farm website will find a calendar of events that highlights not only NCAT-sponsored events, but also veteran-focused educational opportunities offered by other organizations around the country.  

The Join Our Network section provides options for staying in touch with the Armed to Farm team and fellow farmer veterans, including sign-up forms for email news and the Veterans in Agriculture Listserv. Visit the News page to find details on upcoming training events, post-training recaps, and spotlights on Armed to Farm alumni. We love to hear and share alumni stories!  

Speaking of alumni stories, be sure to check out the About page to view a short video starring three alumni and their farms. They share their experiences with the program and how it helped them as they started out. While you’re on that page, you can meet the five NCAT staff members who make up the core Armed to Farm team.  

If you have any questions about Armed to Farm or other farmer veteran resources, feel free to contact any of the team members. We are here to help!  

We have at least 20 Armed to Farm events lined up for the next three to four years, and planning is already underway for Spring 2022 events in California, New Mexico, and Texas. Visit ARMEDTOFARM.ORG today to sign up to receive email alerts when the event application periods open!