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Veterans and Education

Colleges Want to Train America's Heroes

Ag experts are in high demand.

According to a recent Purdue University study, there are thousands of jobs in agriculture and agribusiness that remain unfilled because there aren’t enough graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment. Job opportunities in these areas are expected to grow. Veterans can fill this need by considering a bachelor’s degree or higher in one of the following areas:

  • Plant Science
  • Food Science
  • Sustainable Biomaterials
  • Water Resources Science and Engineering
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Veterinary Medicine

You can also consider getting a certificate or gain education through working on a student farm. Many U.S. institutions and organizations offer certificates in sustainable agriculture. These can be earned faster than a college degree and can provide you with the deeper understanding needed to go out and start or grow an operation.

Student farms are another way to receive hands-on training and learn a variety of agriculture practices first-hand. Through these opportunities you can learn a variety of farming techniques and learn from others in the business. USDA’s National Agricultural Library lists a variety of available college programs, certificate programs, and student farms.

In addition to educational and training programs available in sustainable agriculture, USDA also has a number of scholarship programs as well as programs with Hispanic-Serving Institutions, 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, and 1994 Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities.

Gain Education through Experience

USDA works with a number of interagency and nonprofit partners to bring education and training opportunities to veterans.

Farm training and apprenticeships equip veterans with the right tools and skills to gain experience and qualifications needed to participate in USDA programs.

  • ATTRA is one organization that provides sustainable farming internships and apprenticeships. Their Armed to Farm program is for military veterans and provides trainings from conference presentations to two-day workshops to week-long training events.
  • Farmer Veteran Coalition is an organization that provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching.

Extension programs are where USDA works with universities to provide non-formal education and learning activities directly to ag producers, small business owners, consumers and families throughout the country.

More than 100 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities provide a network of professional educators, trained volunteers, and local offices who can address your local priority needs, extend resources, and provide education of business operations and technologies.

Want to learn more? Contact us at veterans@osec.usda.gov.