Veteran-centric farming movement takes root

Nice article in Saturday’s New York Times with headline of “Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows” about teaching veterans to farm.  Thanks to Connie Schultz of
Botany & Bloom in the Triangle for pointing it out.

The courses for wounded soldiers are part of a “a nascent ‘veteran-centric’ farming movement, according to writer Patricia Leigh Brown. “Its goal is to bring the energy of young soldiers reentering civilian life to the aging farm population of rural America. Half of all farmers are likely to retire in the next decade, according to the Agriculture Department.”

“The military is not for the faint of heart, and farming isn’t either,” said Michael O’Gorman, an organic farmer who founded the nonprofit Farmer-Veteran Coalition, which supports sustainable-agriculture training. “There are eight times as many farmers over age 65 as under. There is a tremendous need for young farmers, and a big wave of young people inspired to go into the service who are coming home.”

“About 45 percent of the military comes from rural communities, compared with one-sixth of the total population, according to the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.”

Very interesting, indeed! If anyone knows of any related programs in NC, please share.

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