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Deadline: February 8, 2018

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans

The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets) seeks to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm/ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector.

AgVets will support projects that will develop a model training program specifically designed for hands-on farming and ranching training for military veterans. These model training programs must:

  • Offer farm and ranch hands-on training and classroom education through an immersive onsite learning experience leading to a comprehensive understanding of successful farm/ranch operation/management practices aligned to the veteran cohort’s interests.
  • Develop or identify curriculum used, including cutting edge technologies and innovations that producers can adopt to help manage their operations.
  • Include the appropriate mix of education, workshops, tours, and instructor-supervised field experiences
  • Be led by a project team that has experience in one or more areas that include: 1) veteran engagement in agricultural pursuits, particularly concerning small and medium-size farms and agribusiness, such as the provision of education and training to veterans and the development of skills leading to job placement and career opportunities in farming and ranching, including access to land, equipment, and capital; 2) on-the-job training and education, apprenticeship, and business development activities for veterans pursuing vocational and entrepreneurial interests that support and grow the food supply chain; and/or 3) efforts to enhance and increase workforce readiness and employment prospects for service-disabled veterans through volunteer engagement and leadership development efforts that promote nature-based reintegration, civic ecology, and earning farm and off-farm income.
  • Provide support for veteran participation with a special focus on diverse and underrepresented groups.
  • As appropriate, align education and training goals with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and resources to increase awareness and engagement with state and local offices of Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS), and Rural Development (RD), including learning about potential job and career opportunities within the USDA.
  • Evaluate the training model and participate in cross-program evaluation to assess the collective impact toward shared performance measures and outcome goals through activities that include project team meetings, conference calls, and engagement with federal agency partners.
  • Ensure results are disseminated through an effective communication plan.
  • Contribute program information and resources to Farm Answers: https://farmanswers.org/Programs?au=Veterans.

Amount: A total of $4,797,500 to awards grants of up to $1,000,000 total for project periods of three years.

Eligibility: Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations.

Link: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/enhancing-agricultural-opportunities-military-veterans

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