Frontline to Farm, a program sponsored by Appalachian State University’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development and Department of Communication, helps military veterans and beginning farmers get started in sustainable farming as a livelihood. We support practices that raise healthy food, mitigate climate change and build community, while providing support and reconnection for those who have served.
A new generation of farmers is needed in the U.S. to produce food sustainably. Raising crops and livestock in climate-friendly ways takes a special focus on ecology. Sustainable agriculture follows principles in nature, such as sequestering carbon in the soil, protecting biodiversity, and reducing the use of fossil fuel. Livestock can be integrated with crops, trees, and horticultural production, and are part of agricultural systems that are resilient to drought, heat, pests and other challenges.
Raising crops and livestock sustainably also requires a focus on social justice in food systems, such as building communities and equal access to healthy food.
Veterans often have skills that transfer well to farming, and farming can provide rewarding work for those who have sacrificed as part of their service.
We provide on-line educational modules, hands-on training, internships, networking and other learning opportunities.
The work of Frontline to Farm is supported by our flagship project Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program 2020-49400-32401 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Dr. Anne Fanatico is Co-Primary Investigator of the NIFA Going Whole Hog grant and Co-Director of Frontline to Farm. She is an Associate Professor in Appalachian State University’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development. Dr. Fanatico teaches agroecology and has worked in agricultural research, teaching, and outreach for 30 years. During that time, she has developed sustainable livestock production systems, conducted research in ecological poultry production, and conducted research and led programs in sustainable agriculture outreach. The daughter of a Korean War Veteran, Dr. Fanatico wants to use her own experience and Frontline to Farm’s strong focus on livestock and agroforestry, which can provide ecosystem services and resilience in agriculture, to help the next generation of farmer Veterans and beginning farmers be successful in sustainable agriculture.
Dr. Lynn Gibbard is Co-Primary Investigator of the NIFA Going Whole Hog grant and Co-Director of Frontline to Farm (F2F). She is an Associate Professor in Appalachian State’s Department of Communication and Chair of Appalachian State’s Military Affairs Committee (M.A.C.). Dr. Gibbard, who grew up subsistence farming with her family, has some experience raising a variety of livestock including pigs, goats, rabbits, and chickens. From childhood through her current work with F2F, she has gained a deep appreciation for how central sustainable agriculture is to the health and welfare of local communities. She has worked with rural farmers in New England and numerous nonprofits focused on agriculture, sustainability, and community development in the U.S. and abroad. As a Veteran of the United States Army and the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Gibbard hopes to help Veterans transition to farming and to use her experience to build networks and support organizations in building communities.
Morgan Lampman is the Communication Specialist for Frontline to Farm. She is a senior English major with a conentration in professional writing and a minor in communication at Appalachian State University. As the daughter of an active-duty Marine, Lampman has a passion for providing reconnection to those who have served our country, and she wants to do her part in helping Veterans transition back into civilian life and aiding farmer Veterans and beginning farmers in starting their sustainable agriculture journeys.
Sarah Gummo is a Small Farm Outreach Coordinator for Frontline to Farm. As a Veteran of the United States Coast Guard and a Sustainable Technology graduate student at Appalachian State University, Gummo is interested in providing support to Veterans who are working to develop sustainable agricultural practices and transitioning back to civilian life. Gummo has farming experience working with a variety of plants, Gulf Coast Native sheep, and goats, and she wants to contribute to the next generation of small farmers creating robust and equitable food systems.
We work in collaboration with App State’s Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm in Fleetwood, N.C. and students, including Second Story Media, a student-run communication agency.
Frontline to Farm works closely with partners throughout the nation, with a focus on North Carolina and Arkansas, including:
- NC Cooperative Extension (Watauga County) (Eddy Labus)
- Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (Dave Walker)
- NC AgrAbility (Beatriz Rodriguez)
- NC A&T University and Co-Director of Center for Environmental Farming Systems (Kathleen Liang)
- University of Arkansas, Small Farms Program (Sarah Bramall)
- USDA Agricultural Research Service Poultry Production and Products Safety Research Unit (Annie Donoghue)
- National Center for Appropriate Technology (Margo Hale)
- University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (Michael Gold)
- Farmer Veteran Coalition (Jeanette Lombardo)
- Select veteran farmers across the nation working in support of military veterans and local food production
Your donations help Veterans to explore and transition into careers in farming, to reconnect with the land and community, and to stay connected with each other while providing the nation with farmer veterans whose knowledge, skills and sustainable practices are at the heart of food security and equity. Your money will support a variety of training, mentoring and internship programs, as well as local farms and gardens.