BFRDP Projects

Boots On the Ground: North Carolina's Veteran Farmer Apprenticeship
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $626,230
Grant Program: 2021 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Angel Cruz


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Farming and ranching offer a viable path for returning veterans to transition into society and capitalize on skills that made them successful in the military. However, these opportunities may be missed due to a lack of targeted training programs, guidance, and information for veterans. In order to meet the growing demand for younger farmers, strengthen local food systems, and increase veteran participation in the agricultural community we need to expand access to high-quality and affordable training, specifically longer duration more intensive hands-on training. We have developed and are now beginning to implement North Carolina's first Registered Agricultural Apprenticeship Program for military Veterans. This program, Boots on the Ground: North Carolina's Veteran Farmer Apprenticeship (NC VFA), is a beginning farmer apprenticeship program for veterans in NC that is increasing the number of veteran farmers in NC. We plan to apply this Registered Apprenticeship model across the state and share the model regionally and nationally. This apprenticeship program helps veterans bridge the gap between education and hands-on learning with employer and mentor involvement, structured on-the-job training, related instruction, rewards for skilled gains, and a recognizable occupation credential. Furthermore, this registered apprenticeship allows veterans to use their GI bill education benefits to supplement the cost of housing and supplies.

Number of Participants: 36


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success