Each year on the last Monday of May, Americans honor U.S. Armed Forces members who have died in the performance of their service to our country. Memorial Day is a federal holiday to remember our fallen heroes. It’s also an appropriate time to reflect on how we can assist our military community every day.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports military members, veterans and military families through a variety of programs and services:
Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, and Military Veterans
Each year, NIFA invests millions of dollars in programs for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and military veterans to help those interested in farming get a solid start in their new careers. NIFA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program funds projects that provide the support new farmers and ranchers need. NIFA’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network funds projects that deliver stress assistance for people in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations. The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program (AgVets) offers onsite, hands-on training (including immersive model farm and ranch programs) plus classroom education to create pathways for military veterans interested in agriculture careers.
Support for Disabled Veterans
AgrAbility is a consumer-driven, USDA-funded program with a special focus on military veterans. It provides vital education, assistance, and support to farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Through the combined dedication and expertise of the Cooperative Extension System and nonprofit disability organizations, AgrAbility helps thousands of determined individuals overcome the barriers to continuing their chosen professions in agriculture.
NIFA and 4-H Partner with Military Community, Family and Youth
NIFA and 4-H have established formal partnerships with the Department of Defense Office of Military Community and Family Policy, Army Child, Youth and School Services, Air Force Airman and Family Services, and Navy Family Readiness to support positive youth development education for youth whose parents are serving in the military. NIFA partners with the Army, Navy, and Air Force to develop and support military children, youth and family programs on military installations around the world, as well as the families of National Guard and Reserves living in communities far removed from military installations. Learn more.
Military REACH bridges the gap between research and practice to allow policymakers, community leaders, educators, youth development professionals, and other professionals access to current research, training, coaching tools, and information to benefit military members and their families. This program partners with Land-grant Institutions to increase professional and workforce development.
As you can see, there are many NIFA-funded programs especially designed to support our military, military families, veterans, and the military community. On this Memorial Day, may we reflect on our nation’s sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, military heroes who have given up their lives to protect our freedoms. May we remember and honor them all.