Training

Hands-on training, working on farms, and sustainable agriculture conferences help expand learning. For some beginning farmers hands-on training, such as farm workshops and demonstrations, is key to allow them to practice skills they later use on their own farms. Many veterans also prefer team-learning due to their cohesive culture. Veterans may prefer a customized internship that suits their schedules, immerses them in day-to day operations, shows firsthand the business aspects of operating a farm, and allows learning in a relationship or community setting. Some farmer veterans open their farms to other veterans and learners. Sustainable agriculture conferences and farmer veteran meet ups are also great ways to continue learning and network; we offer scholarships for veterans on a limited basis.

Upcoming events/trainings

  • Join sustainable agriculture conferences, such as Carolina Farm Stewardship Association or Carolina Meat Conference, to learn about ecological practices
  • Inquire for a scholarship
  • Network with other farmers and veterans
  • Coming up: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association virtual meeting Nov. 5-15, 2021; Farmer Veteran Coalition annual meeting in Knoxville, TN Nov. 18-19, 2021; The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Armed to Farm Bootcamp at the SD Farm in Fleetwood, NC in summer 2022!
  • Also see Further resources

Hands-on training

  • Join farm tours and demonstrations
  • Visit SD Farm in Fleetwood, NC and local farms
  • Contact Small Farm Outreach specialist Sarah Gummo (veteran U.S. Coast Guard)

Scholarship Opportunities

Veteran Scholarships for Agricultural Conference Attendance: Frontline to Farm and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) are partnering to offer the veteran scholarships. NCAT will award scholarships of up to $250 for military veterans who want to learn about sustainable livestock production and farm business at an agricultural conference.

Scholarships will cover registration costs, up to $250, for the following conferences:  

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but the latest deadline to apply for the scholarship is November 12, 2021. The application is available online at ARMEDTOFARM.ORG/APPLY. Applicants will be notified no later than November 16, 2021 about the status of their scholarship application.

Education modules

  • Access online educational modules on ecological agriculture, regenerative livestock production, agroforestry, and farm business

Access education modules

Farmer veteran internships

Contact Frontline to Farm veterans directly to inquire about customized internships at their farms.

  • Cory Bryk (newlifefarm.nc@gmail.com) a Sergeant with the Marine Corps, farms in Lenoir, NC with enterprises ranging from pastured poultry, woodlot swine, and specialty vegetables and herbs in hoophouses.
  • Terrell Spencer (acrossthecreekfarm@gmail.com) of Across the Creek Farm in West Fork, AR served 9 years in the U.S. Army and has been a farmer mentor since 2014. His primary enterprises include swine and pastured poultry. He raises 10,000 broilers a year, operates a small processing plant, and sells to local markets and restaurants. He has trained over a dozen farmers through the internship program.
  • COL Ryan Pace (Ret.) (rtpace45@yahoo.com) served in the Army and Army National Guard for almost 29 years and retired in January 2020. His final commanding position was as the 77th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander serving in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East. In his civilian job, he serves farmers with Greenway Equipment (a John Deere Company), as a Regional VP in the Central Arkansas area. He also has a grass-fed beef operation, Wholly Cow Farms, in Searcy AR.