Empowering Veterans to Thrive in Agriculture


November 12, 2013. Des Moines, IA.  Governor Branstad this morning launched “Home Base Iowa,” an initiative to encourage military veterans to find jobs and settle down in Iowa.  The initiative is raising private funds to support a national marketing campaign and facilitate one-on-one outreach to America’s departing veterans. Continue reading

Health care is often mentioned by farmers as one of their primary concerns. Its also a big issue, though often overlooked, by students, including veterans in college using their GI Bill. Many veterans do have additional opportunities to access health care services but understanding eligibility requirements, the extent of coverage, and how VA health benefits interact with private insurance coverage and the new Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” can be challenging. Continue reading

Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids is hosting Beginning Farmer Workshop on October 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The workshop is a collaborative effort of the Iowa Agricultural Development Division (IADD) of the Iowa Finance Authority in conjunction with USDA Farm Service Agency, ISU Beginning Farmer Center, Iowa Agricultural Lenders, Iowa Farm Bureau, and Iowa’s Community Colleges and 4-Year Ag College Programs. Continue reading

As the Fall harvest begins in Iowa, safety should remain a priority. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Bill Northey, today reminded both farmers and motorists to be cautious on rural roads as farm vehicles move around the country side.

Northey was quoted in the Des Moines Register, “Harvest is a great time on the farm, but it is also very busy and can be stressful,” he said. “It is important everyone working on the farm and Iowans traveling through the rural parts of our state stay alert and take the necessary time to make sure we have another successful and safe harvest season.” Continue reading

Garrett and Ryan Burchett, the owners of Mississippi River Distilling Company, are turning local corn into local beverages. The outfit demonstrates that buying local isn’t limited to the farmers market and shows the value for Iowa’s farmer veterans to think creatively about niche markets.

Market to Market recently did a story on the distilling brothers, who are also hosting a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day September 19, 2013 at their distillery. More details on the field day are found below. Continue reading

Iowa Farmer Today recently ran a story featuring Jason Kerr, a veteran and farm business owner. The article captures Jason’s story, which illustrates the desire of many returning veterans to enter agriculture and find a sense of purpose from feeding their communities and country.

Jason’s interview summarizes many of the challenges and opportunities experienced by beginning farmer veterans in seeking a farm’s most critical asset – land. Continue reading

Free Lunch and Learn Series

Time:  Noon to 1 pm. CST


March 3rd  The volatility of grain markets can keep you guessing, but there are tools to help mitigate these risks.  Learn grain marketing basics from a veteran and grain company manager. While this subject can be very extensive, learn the basic terms and how these tools and strategies can help you manage risks due to market fluctuations.


March 10th  Learn about improved tools and opportunities for livestock producers to manage livestock market issues and risk management programs and policies. The webex will also producer decisions and recent changes to the Livestock Risk Protection insurance policy.


March 17th  What are the requirements for Beginning Farmer loans and what information should you have prepared when meeting with an ag loan officer?  Learn these basics and more.  We will also provide information on tax credits to assist beginning farmers and how they can be used with other lenders such as USDA.


March 24th  Do you have a conservation plan?  Conservation planning involves working to address concerns on your land, with a focus on natural systems and ecological processes that sustain resources.  Then a USDA employees will provide information about their programs and services which can help you meet your conservation goals on your farm or farm operation, along with benefits related to farmer veterans.


March 31st Do you have a formal farm business structure, what are the types, or should you even set one up for your operation?  We will explore the options, benefits, and even pitfalls of forming an S-Corp, an LLC and other business structures.  The discussion on legal risks continues learn how these structures impact future planning or transition onto a farm?  We will also discuss the importance of separating enterprises and other topics as you learn to minimize legal risks.


For more Information or register here:   https://bit.ly/veteransinag-webinarseries


Recorded Lunch and Learn Series Links

Did you miss one of our Lunch and Learn Sessions?   They were recorded!  See the missed sessions using this link.