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A Special Invitation from Deputy Secretary to Join a Google+ Hangout on Veteran Farmers

Posted by USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden in Initiatives Food and Nutrition Rural
Feb 21, 2017
A man holding plant seedlings with the USA flag behind him
Helping our Returning Heroes find Opportunities in Agriculture: Join us for a Google+ Hangout with Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. Tune in live on Thursday, September 17, 11AM ET at

On Monday, I had the opportunity to meet with several inspiring Service members and launch an expanded collaboration between USDA and the Department of Defense at a Transition Assistance Program class hosted at the Pentagon. This collaboration will integrate agriculture into the career training and counseling programs Service members receive as they transition out of the military. Information about USDA resources and programs will now reach 200,000 transitioning Service members every year.

It’s exciting to see veterans — many of whom come from rural communities — drawn back to the land, and USDA is here to provide support for military veterans and their families, from nutrition assistance to rural rental housing and homeownership opportunities. In conjunction with Monday’s announcement, USDA also launched a new website, This site is specifically designed to educate veterans about USDA programs and the support available for all active duty military and veterans.

Let’s keep the conversation going! Join me at 11 a.m. Eastern on September 17 for a Google+ Hangout, which will feature veteran farmers and veteran training organizations who will provide insight into challenges and opportunities in farming and ranching. Ask questions of the panelists by leaving them in the comments section below or by using #NextGenAg on Twitter. Be sure to RSVP to attend the event on our Google+ page and tune in live on Thursday by visiting the USDA Google+ page or We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Guy Zierk
Sep 17, 2015

Given this new collaboration between USDA and DoD. Has there been any or will there be any collaboration with USDA and VA? I inquire this because VR&E VRCs utilize DoL labor statistics to determine the 'employment potential' of a given Veterans desired career field. (Granted there are many other factors that also 'bar' a Veteran from some forms of employment given the individuals SCD) I am by no means VA bashing the VA VR&E VRCs are doing a phenomenal job with our Veterans in job training, employment, and education. However they are lacking in the realms of entrepreneurship, which I concider the need for Veterans wanting to get into farming... they are also lacking in providing independent living services for the severely disabled. In my case work of over 500 Marine Veterans, the only success I have seen utilizing CH 31 benefits for agriculture and it was only after the Veteran stated they wanted to get into the occupational field of 'land scape design' and he utilized his education funded provided by the VA to 'get into permaculture'. In short he had to find a 'work around'.

vass margaris
Sep 18, 2015

Is any coordination with the VBOC?
Please advise

Paul Kanning
Oct 30, 2015

The link in this article to the new USDA veteran website results in "Page Not Found".

Technology is only as good as the people administering it. That was true in the military and it's the same for USDA. I recommend updating the link to the veteran website, removing the link from this post, or deleting the post altogether.

Ben Weaver
Nov 05, 2015

@Paul Kanning - we've updated the link. Good eye! Thank you!