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.
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.
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.
Previously Funded Projects
|Award Number||Project Director||Organization||Project Name||Amount Awarded||Location|
|2018-77028-28442||Andi Nelson||Recipe For Success Foundation||Hope Farmer Training for Veterans||$999,997.00||TX|
|2018-77028-28367||Gary LaGrange||Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education||Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education (SAVE) - Farming for the Future||$999,300.00||KS|
|2018-77028-28899||Lovay Singleton||Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden||Onslow and Craven County Veterans Outreach Project to Develop Beginning…||$281,659.00||NC|
|2018-77028-28386||Michael O'Gorman||Farmer Veteran Coalition||Veterans Rising: Agricultural Pathways Apprenticeship Project||$979,978.00||CA/national|
|2018-77028-28368||Joseph Tomandl||Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship||Creating a Dairy Farming Career Track for Military Veterans||$954,434.00||9 states|
|2018-77028-28440||Samuel Scott||North-South Institute||Development of a Veterans Incubator Small Farm for Specialty Food Enterprises…||$584,632.00||FL|
Applicant Webinar Recording
|Play recording (1 hr 16 min 49 sec)|
|Recording password: vMBMh6T5|
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 (external link). 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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