Empowering Veterans to Thrive in Agriculture

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.

“Looking into the future, Kerr wants to become a full-time row crop farmer. He has worked with the Iowa State University Beginning Farm Center, Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Farmer Veteran Coalition to start his operation.

He says many veterans who want to farm will seek out the resources to help them get started.

While there are many resources, from organizations to state and federal incentives to help veterans farm, Kerr says access to land is the biggest challenge.

He says one of the challenges is to educate landowners to the opportunities of working with a veteran.”

The Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa is working to educate landowners on the benefits of renting land to a beginning farmer veteran, such as the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit they can receive through the Iowa Finance Authority. We can also provide advice to our veteran members on how to engage and sell themselves to landowners.

 

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