#LoC; #VHP; #Farming; #ViableCareerPath; #VeteranHistoryProject
Washington/Canadian-Media: Two panels to highlight farming as a viable career path for veterans will be hosted by the Library of Congress (LoC) Veterans History Project (VHP) with an aim of transitioning civilian life and introducing programs that support those who pursue farming.
Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Image credit: Library of Congress
Focusing on the benefits and challenges of farming in urban and rural settings, the events will premiere on the VHP’s Facebook page. The comment section would comprise panelists and moderators to answer questions.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 18 million veterans in the United States would be able to avail the opportunity to become entrepreneurs in farming and gain knowledge and hands-on experience in land management and other skills.
The panels will help address questions and concerns veterans may have about how to apply their experience and skillset to their new careers.
The panel on March 26 will feature Justin Butts, a 32-year-old African American Navy veteran who turned his childhood love of farming into a full-time business in upstate New York.
“I always wanted to be a farmer since I was younger, and it was just a matter of finding a path to get there. While in the Navy, I developed an autoimmune disease, and I became more interested in where my food was coming from, so I got more involved in farming,” Butts explained. “There are a lot of resources to learn farming skills, but I say the best way to get into farming is to start farming; leasing land is not as expensive as leasing an apartment.”
Butts, a chef-turned-farmer, credits his new career path to his grandfather, who had been a farmer in North Carolina. Butts leases land to raise his livestock, holds a separate job as livestock manager, and owns Butts Bros Handmade Lard Soap since 2018.
Friday, March 19
Veteran Grown: Urban Farming, 12 p.m. ET
Farmer veterans in urban settings and leaders from national advocacy organizations that provide training and direct support to them would be featured in this panel will feature.
Their specialties include beekeeping, compost management, and vegetable crops. Margo Hale of the National Center for Appropriate Technology and the training program Armed to Farm will moderate the panel, which will include special remarks by Rep. Kim Schrier of Washington, a member of the House Committee on Agriculture.
Friday, March 26
Veteran Grown: Farming, 12 p.m. ET
Farmer veterans in more traditional settings would be featured in this panel, some of whom have benefitted from specialized farmer training programs and one-on-one mentorship.
Their specialties include vegetable crops, beekeeping, pig farming, soap making, and entrepreneurship. Damon Helton of The Farm at Barefoot Bend in Arkansas will moderate the panel, which will include special remarks by Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.
Several challenges are faced by the military veterans while transitioning to civilian life, including physical and psychological traumas due to injuries sustained on the battlefield, resulting in affecting their mental and emotional health, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Farming and other agricultural-related careers have been shown by personal testimonials to be beneficial to veterans, their families, and communities, no matter where they live.
Veterans History Project was created by the Congress in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of United States war veterans from World War I through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The project aims to help future generations have a better understanding of the realities of military service. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/vets/ or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371–5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook @vetshistoryproject.
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