New Bill Would Support Farming Opportunities For Veterans

The newly introduced Ag Vets Act aims to codify an existing Ag Vets program to direct the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to award competitive grants to prepare veterans for entering the farming and ranching industries. 

“Food security is national security,” says Wisconsin Congressman Derrick Van Orden. “Given the previous nature of their service, our veterans are exceptionally equipped to handle that responsibility.”

Van Orden, who introduced the bill with North Carolina Congressman Don Davis, says the legislation can support vets in their transition from military service to civilian life. He adds the program also supports the ag workforce.

“By providing grants for veterans to learn the necessary skills to work in the agricultural industry, we are taking care of some of the most pressing challenges for two of the greatest contributors to the success of our nation,” he says.

Specifically, the Ag Vets Act will require recipients that receive the grant to provide:

  • Training and classroom education aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of farm and ranch business operations and management practices;
  • Curriculum that veteran farmers and ranchers can adopt to help manage their enterprise;
  • Education, workshops, tours, and instructor-supervised field experiences; or
  • Support any other activity, as identified by the Secretary, to increase the number of military veterans pursuing knowledge and skills development in agriculture.