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America Needs One Million New Farmers, Veterans Want the Job

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America Needs One Million New Farmers, Veterans Want the Job
Photo courtesy of Dulanie Ellis

Thousands of returning combat veterans are being called to the land.

Individually and in groups, they are transitioning from the military into new careers in organic farming, grassfed livestock, urban hydroponics, permaculture, beekeeping, and artisan foods from honey wine to killer salsa. Working with the land and growing food is healing the wounds of war, as they find a new mission of service in strengthening America’s food security, one farm at a time.

Veterans are stepping up just in time. Half of the farmers in this nation are at retirement age. They need to pass on their farming knowledge to a new generation of land stewards. The cavalry coming over the hill is just that — it’s the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard.

The award-winning documentary, Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields, champions veterans who are restoring their own lives and revitalizing their communities through new careers in sustainable agriculture. Ground Operations has screened in multiple national conferences, on Capitol Hill, in film festivals, universities and community events across the country.

Audiences questions are always the same. Where do veterans find farmland? How can they pay for it? Is the government helping? Where can they get the training they need? How do we reach many thousands more veterans and encourage them to get started farming? How can communities help?

Veteran Farmers of Gilliard Farms Homegrown by Heroes Certification Label
Photo courtesy of Dulanie Ellis

Organizations like Ground Operations and are working with veterans across the country to give them the tools that they need to move into farming by connecting them with vital resources such as the Farmer Veteran Coalition, the Homegrown by Heroes label, veteran owned training farms, governmental & non-profit organizations, and colleges and universities with sustainable agriculture programs. Ground Operations offers field manuals as a launch pad for veterans to find the resources that are available and are promoting their video to raise awareness of the upcoming farming crisis and the role that veterans can play in solving the problem.

How can you help? Support the effort by choosing products that have the Homegrown by Heroes label and check out the film Battlefields to Farmfields. The film is available on Amazon and iTunes. It can be bought or licensed from their website: groundoperations.net. The Ground Ops educational outreach campaign is asking for everyone’s help to share the good news:

America needs one million new farmers. Veterans want the job!