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