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USDA Helps Veteran’s Dream Come True

Posted by Candace Chambers, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Conservation Farming
Oct 25, 2018
Matthew and Holly Anglin
Matthew and Holly Anglin purchased a farm in Ovett, Miss., and worked with USDA to get their farming operation off the ground. Photo credit: Matthew and Holly Anglin

After returning home from a year-long military tour of duty in Iraq, Matthew Anglin worked as a paramedic for four years. However, he soon realized that he wanted to spend more quality time at home with his wife, Holly, and their children. This desire led Anglin and his wife to venture into farming in the small town of Ovett, Miss.

Securing Financing

When the couple decided to take a leap and develop a farm, they had trouble getting the finances they needed to purchase land and livestock.

“Our biggest challenge when we started was financing,” Anglin said. “For any small farmer, it is sometimes hard to purchase land in large quantities.”

After being approved for a loan, the Anglins applied for assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to purchase cattle. With that, they were well on their way to turning their dream into a reality.

Cattle on the Anglins' farm
The Anglins received a loan from USDA to purchase cattle. Photo credit: Candace Chambers, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Making a Conservation Plan

“My wife and I bought the 100-acre farm four years ago,” Anglin said. “It was all in standing pine timber. We had the timber cut, and then we needed assistance with cross-fencing.” He contacted the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Jones County for financial assistance.

“Mr. Anglin signed up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to install cross-fencing, heavy-use pads, and watering facilities,” said Ryan Collins, NRCS soil conservationist. “He is a beginning farmer and a veteran farmer, which allowed him to take advantage of more of the incentives in our program.”

Cross fencing on the Anglins' farm
Through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Anglin received assistance to install cross fencing and water tanks to facilitate a rotational grazing system. Photo credit: Candace Chambers, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Anglin Farms currently includes cross-bred cattle, but they are looking to have all registered Charolais cattle in the future. The farm also consists of six poultry houses where the Anglins raise chickens.

“Mr. Anglin is an ambassador for our programs as he tells other farmers how NRCS can assist them,” Collins said.

Assisting Veterans

Anglin encourages other veterans to visit their local USDA service center for assistance. USDA accepts applications for conservation programs on a continuous basis.

“This is a great life for veterans to begin after military service because of the great benefits through the NRCS and FSA,” Anglin said. “If any veterans would like to get into the cattle producing business, contacting the USDA would be a great start.”

A water tank on the Anglins' farm
Water tanks allow Anglin to rotate his cattle through different pastures to prevent overgrazing. Photo credit: Candace Chambers, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Category/Topic: Conservation Farming

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