BFRDP Projects

Battle ground to Breaking Ground
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $600,000
Grant Program: 2016 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Rick Peterson
Organization: Texas A&M AgrLife Extension


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The project’s overall goals were to increase the number and enhance sustainability of veteran and other beginning farmers and ranchers, through an innovative, holistic model for education, training, technical assistance, and outreach, reducing self-employment barriers for veterans and other beginning farmer/ranchers (particularly those with disabilities). To accomplish the above referenced goals the project: 1. Provided a holistic and relevant educational experience to support farm enterprise education and sustainability through access to: a) face to face and online educational training in farm management and production specific agriculture practices; b) individualized educational planning and guidance to support diverse agriculture business interests; c) hands-on learning opportunities connected to online course content; and d) follow-up mentor support, 2. Established peer-to-peer learning through a Community of Practice, and 3. Offered an array of veteran transitional and disability support services. Outreach efforts were targeted toward military veterans and socially disadvantaged beginning farmers/ranchers with and without disabilities. The project provided participants with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions regarding entering, establishing, and managing successful agriculture enterprises. The activities were designed to enhance participants’ success in agribusiness startup, business expansion and sustainability augmented by peer-learning and support services and experiential learning opportunities. Formative and summative evaluation measures for program improvement and overall evaluation were included. Program sustainability was addressed through strategic partnership engagement beyond the life of the project. Ease of replicability of the program has been engineered into the design of the program. Even though the project grant period has ended, the program is still being delivered.

Through the program 572 individuals increased their awareness and understanding of business and strategic planning, value added enterprises, conservation, economics decision making, risk management, animal production, vegetable production, and soil and pasture management. The program has held 80 hands on learning/field days with 1034 attendees. The program has held 9 one day workshops across the state with 531 individuals in attendance. Hours of agriculture production course work attended in excess of 440 hours and 1300 hours of hands on hours completed. Webinar attendance for the 3-year period was 4926 participants. The website page was viewed/accessed          107, 751 times. One thousand six hundred and six unique individuals were directly served through the program. One hundred and twenty-six individuals started farming, 725 individuals were helped to prepare to start farming and 126 improved their farming success.



Number of Participants: 1606


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