USDA May Push for More Veterans in Farming

November 19, 2013 |

Farmer kneeling.

While unemployment is up, the availability of skilled workers is down. There are many opportunities in the manufacturing industry, but there also seems to be a burgeoning need in the farming industry. According to Wisconsin Public Radio, the USDA is considering ways to address both needs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says there is a lot of potential for veterans entering the farming industry and selling at local markets. “It’s not likely that a returning veteran who is not part of a farm family could start in a production sized operation,” he says. “That’s why these local and regional food systems are so important, because it provides an entry point that provides an opportunity for people to grow.”

To help with this movement, the Homegrown by Heroes initiative will begin marketing foods that are produced by veterans. By doing so, veteran farmers just starting out will hopefully gain enough momentum to pursue farming as a long-term sustainable career. While there are many different types of jobs, there are so many opportunities to go around, and adapting to the current market may be the best solution for returning servicemembers.

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Mary Swanson says:

    I would like to do that, I have a BS in Agribusiness and a AA in Agriculture with Animal Husbandry. I have raised large and small livestock in the past. I just don't have the land, equipment or funds to do so. I would like to acquire the land and what I need to raise hay and vegetables, besides the livestock. So how can you help me get started to do this? Ssgt Mary Swanson retired US Air Force Reserves Texas

  2. John Michael Calitri says:

    As a Vietnam Veteran with Graduate School
    at SMU in Dallas, TX. and undergraduate
    school at Centre College of Ky. I believe that
    I have something to give to our system as
    a Vietnam Veteran/ College Professor/
    Entrepreneur. Increase the knowledge of our
    Military and quit selling out our country out to
    People who hate our language, culture, and
    way of life.