Most U.S. veterans end up living or returning to rural regions of the country, and many of them are seeking a renewed sense of purpose in their post-military lives. That’s why more and more veterans are looking for work on farmland and ranches as they transition back to civilian life. While farms are devoted to producing agricultural products, ranches are usually larger tracts of land dedicated to raising livestock, like horses, sheep, and cattle ranches.
With a majority of U.S. veterans living in the country, agricultural and ranch jobs can be a natural fit for their life goals. Or, at least, it would be, if the military provided training in such work. It turns out demolitions and sharpshooting aren’t in high demand at most turkey farms. Even so, the leadership and discipline soldiers learn while serving their country are useful skills to have in agriculture.
And now, an awesome new program seeks to help give veterans more of the training and assistance they need to launch farms and ranches of their own. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense are joining forces to help grow the Transition Assistance Program. The program already sees almost 200,000 veterans a year seeking career training for civilians jobs. With the resources of the Department of Agriculture behind the program, vets interested in farm or ranch work will have more help than ever.
?Rural America disproportionately sends its sons and daughters to serve in the military,? said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. ?When service members return home, we want them to know that rural America has a place for them, no matter where they?re from.”
Veterans interested in becoming their own employer and raising crops or livestock on their own can apply for special loans. Already, the USDA has provided $438 million in loans to 6,480 veterans looking for farmland for sale, equipment, and other essentials.