Virtual conference offered to veterans of agriculture

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The National AgrAbility Project, led by Purdue University Cutting-edge resource center, presents “Veterans Harvest: A Virtual Conference for Veterans in Agriculture” this summer. The series will meet for five consecutive Tuesdays starting July 27 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.

“Agriculture has become an important source of employment and healing for many veterans,” says Cindy Chastain, Veterans Outreach Coordinator for National AgrAbility. “A large percentage of veterans come from rural areas, although not all of them grew up on farms. After leaving the military, they find that working in agriculture fulfills them in ways that other professions cannot.

The conference agenda includes:

  • July 27: Introduction by Cindy Chastain, National AgrAbility Project, and Jeanette Lombardo, Farmer Veteran Coalition, plus “A Journey from a PTSD Veteran to the Farmer” by Sarah Creech, Blue Yonder Organic Farm and Indiana Farmer Veteran Coalition.
  • August 3: “Celebrating Veteran Total Farmer Health” by Linda Emanuel and Shay Foulk, AgriSafe Network.
  • Aug 10: “Programming for Veterans in Agriculture: How Maine Does It” by Anne Devin, Maine AgrAbility.
  • August 17: “Update on USDA Support for Veterans” by Bill Ashton, USDA Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison.
  • August 24: “Panel presentation on national / regional programs for veteran farmers” moderated by Cindy Chastain, National AgrAbility Project.

Groups involved in the conference include Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) and Indiana AgVets. FVC is a national organization with chapters in Indiana and 23 other states that helps veterans develop viable jobs and rewarding careers through collaborative farming and military communities.

Indiana AgVets is a USDA-sponsored agricultural skills training program led by Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corp. in cooperation with Purdue’s Indiana AgrAbility Project, which provides internships and other supports to U.S. Army veterans in Indiana and surrounding states.

All sessions are free and registration information is available at Those already registered for the virtual sessions of the AgrAbility 2021 National Training Workshop are automatically registered for the Veterans Conference. For more information, contact Paul Jones, Director of the National AgrAbility Project, at [email protected] or 800-825-4264.

Writer: Abby Leeds, 765-494-7817, [email protected]

Source: Paul Jones, 800-825-4264, [email protected]

Agricultural communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Head of Department, [email protected]

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