When veterans return home from active duty, many face a difficult question: what’s next? Florida International University (FIU) is hoping to answer that question with its new Veterans and Small Farmers Outreach program.
The program is intended to give veterans, particularly those just returning from duty, the chance to learn the farming business and to see it as a way to explore a potential career option through workshops, training and paid apprenticeships. Students work on local farms to receive hands-on experience and attend classes and workshops to learn about financial accounting, business management and farm risk management and also receive assistance on USDA loan applications.
FIU hopes students will leave the program with both technical and entrepreneurial skills and the confidence to sustain their own farm operations.
The program began with an initial cohort of 19 students this January and will run through September.