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Think you might like farming? May 24 field day for veterans

More than 100 military veterans will be joining Virginia State University’s (VSU) Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) in Petersburg for the 2022 Boots to Roots 2 ~ Down on the Farm Military Veteran’s Field Day next week, May 24, at VSU Randolph Farm. There is still time to sign up. Information at end of article.

The theme of the workshop is “Down on the Farm.” It is designed as an on-the-farm event for military veteran farmers, ranchers, landowners, and new and beginning veteran farmers who want to learn more about what it takes to farm profitably and sustainably.

Sessions will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will tour Randolph Farm and learn about various enterprises such as urban farming, aquaculture, small ruminants, vegetable production, berry production, high tunnel production. They will also learn about the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agencies that partner with VSU to support farmers.

“The goal of this event is to bring new and seasoned veteran farmers together to allow networking opportunities and educate them about USDA, other agricultural programs, and resources available to them,” said Tony Edwards, an SFOP Program Assistant who specializes in helping military veterans and beginning farmers. “We have an awesome program in store for participants. Some of our partners who will be available to provide information are Farm Service Agency (FSA), Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Program, and other USDA Military veteran representatives.”

The keynote speaker for the workshop is William B. Ashton, Navy Veteran and Strategic Initiatives Division Director of USDA. Ashton has been appointed by the Governor of Virginia to be the Fleet Reserve Association’s representative to the Joint Leadership Council, where he currently serves as Chairman. This organization helps service organizations collaborate with the Department of Veterans Services on meeting the needs of Virginia’s veterans.

The 2022 Boots to Roots 2 ~ Down on the Farm field day will be held at VSU Randolph Farm Pavilion, 4415 River Road Petersburg, VA, in the large conference room. Registration is free and includes refreshments and lunch sponsored by the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

The workshop is open to veterans as well as military personnel who may be considering farming after retirement. To register, visit click, on the event and then click on the registration link.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Small Farm Outreach Program office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (804) 524-3292 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

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