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Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans (AgVets)

The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. AgVets projects will offer onsite, hands-on training and classroom education leading to a comprehensive understanding of successful farm and ranch operations and management practices. Projects may also offer workforce readiness and employment prospects for service-disabled veterans. Ensuring there are pathways for military veterans interested in pursuing careers in agriculture — regardless of age or production choice — strengthens agricultural production and rural economies across the United States.

While military veterans are eligible for most USDA programs, a hands-on immersive training experience has been identified as a critical strategy for helping interested individuals enter into and sustain successful careers in farming, ranching, and agribusiness. Through targeted outreach, strategic collaboration and partnership, including evaluation, well-designed pilot programs can assist veterans in gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to secure meaningful job and career opportunities that increase individual, family, and community vitality.
 

FY 2020 ENHANCING AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR MILITARY VETERANS APPLICANT WEBINAR Recording

Check out the May, 14, 2020, FY 2020 AGVETS Applicant Webinar video recording (links to external site of YouTube). 
Request a copy of the FY 2020 AGVETS Applicant Webinar on May 14, 2020, slide deck.


Funding Priority

Section 760 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244) provides funds to NIFA for a pilot program to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans.


Eligibility

AgVets applicants must be nonprofit organizations. The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2 CFR part 200, defines the term "nonprofit organization" as follows:

Nonprofit organization means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization, not including institutions of higher education (IHEs), that:

(a) Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest;
(b) Is not organized primarily for profit; and
(c) Uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operations of the organization.


Types of Projects

The AgVets program will accept Training and Outreach project types.

Training and Outreach Projects must conduct programs and activities that deliver science-based knowledge and informal educational programs to veterans through an immersive onsite learning experience leading to a comprehensive understanding of successful farm/ranch operation/management practices. Training and Outreach projects may also include related matters such as certification programs, instructional materials and innovative instructional methods appropriate to help prospective producers successfully manage their operations.

Currently Funded Projects
Award Number Project Director Organization Project Name Amount Awarded Location
2020-77028-32885 J. Sinnemaki; AM Entress Florida is for Veterans, Inc. Veterans Florida Agriculture Program $745,245 Florida
2020-77028-32887 S. Scott; GE Fitzpatrick North-South Institute Expansion Of The Veterans Small Farm, Allied Industry, and Auxiliary Enterprise Incubator Program in Selected Florida Counties $642,840 Florida
2020-77028-32882 LJ Jackson; JO Moten-Thomas; DA Davis Stag Vets Inc. Ad Tech to Success $750,000 Georgia
2020-77028-32884 B. Grabau, CR Downs Iowa Foundation for Microenterprise And Community Vitality Connecting Veterans to Agri-Food System Opportunities $696,216 Iowa
2020-77028-32878 A. Botts Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Connecting Kentucky Veterans to Agriculture Opportunities $746,567 Kentucky
2020-77028-32891 M. Cufone Recirculating Farms Coalition Growing Local: Supporting Southeast Louisiana Veterans in Agriculture $299,990 Louisiana
2020-77028-32883 GS Brisco; KE Brune Arise Veteran Foundation The We are All Related (WAAR) Project $746,531 Missouri
2020-77028-32880 M. Auterson Springfield Community Gardens Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Ozarks Farmer Veterans $750,000 Missouri
2020-77028-32877 M. Hale; RO Metzger National Center for Appropriate Technology Armed to Farm: A Comprehensive, Hands-On Immersive Training Model for Veterans Seeking Farming/Ranching Careers $749,791 Montana
2020-77028-32890 S. Renner Center for Rural Affairs Putting the Pieces Together, A Year in the Life of a Diversified Farm $312,775 Nebraska
2020-77028-32888 D. Peters; MA Cogorno; YA Bunch Not Forgotten Outreach Inc. Agricultural Resurgence Program for Veterans and Military Families $749,826 New Mexico
2020-77028-32889 C. Moore Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County Farm Ops: Advancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans in New York $300,000 New York
2020-77028-32886 S. Thomas Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians TM AGVITS Program $549,983 North Dakota
2020-77028-32879 A. Singer Rogue Farm Corps. Beginning Farmer Veteran Training Through Hands-On Collaborative Education $268,546 Oregon
2020-77028-32881 M. Mulder Arcadia Food Veteran Farmer Training and Incubation $749,907 Virginia
2020-77028-32893 RB Simpson Operation Welcome Home, Inc. Operation Welcome Home: Veterans Agriculture Training Program $265,115 West Virginia
2020-77028-32892 C. Litzau Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, Inc. Equipping Veterans for Pathways to Employment in the Farm-To-Table Agribusiness Continuum in Southeastern Wisconsin $270,000 Wisconsin
 
Previously Funded Projects
Award Number Project Director Organization Project Name Amount Awarded Location
2019-77028-29967 John Butler Agricenter International Veterans Employed in Technology and Service in Agriculture (VETSA) $897,627 Tennessee
2019-77028-29968 Joe Knott Compatible Lands Foundation Inc Fort Hood Veterans` Farming Education And Training (FEAT) Initiative $810,754 Texas
2019-77028-29969 Mark Sorensen Painted Desert Demonstration Projects, Inc. Veterans Agricultural Education and Apprenticeship Program in the Southwest $713,174 Arizona
2019-77028-29970 Melissa Stewart West Virginia Military Authority Patriot Guardens: Providing Pathways for Production and Processing for Military Veterans $664,840 West Virginia
2019-77028-29971 Michael Edwards Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation Indiana Ag Vet Grant offers opportunities for military interested in employment in agriculture to develop skills for successful agricultural-related careers. $886,806 Indiana
2019-77028-29972 Emily Emmons Ho'ola Veteran Services Go Farm Hawaii: Growing Veterans $803,355 Hawaii
2018-77028-28442 Andi Nelson Recipe For Success Foundation Hope Farmer Training for Veterans $999,997 TX
2018-77028-28367 Gary LaGrange Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education (SAVE) - Farming for the Future $999,300 KS
2018-77028-28899 Lovay Singleton Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden Onslow and Craven County Veterans Outreach Project to Develop Beginning… $281,659 NC
2018-77028-28386 Michael O'Gorman Farmer Veteran Coalition Veterans Rising: Agricultural Pathways Apprenticeship Project $979,978 CA/national
2018-77028-28368 Joseph Tomandl Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Creating a Dairy Farming Career Track for Military Veterans $954,434 9 states
2018-77028-28440 Samuel Scott North-South Institute Development of a Veterans Incubator Small Farm for Specialty Food Enterprises… $584,632 FL


The Awards Process

Awards will be made through a competitive grants process, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov. This process requires pre-registration which can take up to one month. We encourage all potential applicants to begin the registration process as soon as possible.

Reviewers from universities, government, community-based organizations, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and from the military, veteran, and farming/agribusiness community will provide peer assessment and recommend applications for funding.


Post Award Monitoring

Projects are required to acknowledge USDA-NIFA funding in all presentations, publications, news releases, etc. Projects are required to collect and submit outcome-based data to USDA-NIFA through annual reports. The annual Project Directors and Evaluators meeting provides opportunities for networking and sharing of best practices.

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