Rural communities all across America are shrinking, not solely because people are moving to cities and not coming back, but also because 45 percent of the nation’s military came from these communities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its Office of Advocacy and Outreach, as well as a number of other non-profits and educational programs, is engaged in recruitment efforts to help young veterans not only get back to work but also get back to revitalizing rural America, according to a story from ABC News.com.
“Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots,” is one of those programs, an idea that came from a 24-year-old veteran and rancher from Bartlett, Nebraska, Garret Dwyer believes that young veterans have the discipline and leadership skills that can repower agricultural communities. The program is part of the University of Nebraska’s College of Technical Agriculture and offers job-training and career-placement for veterans interested in becoming ranchers or farmers.
Richard Mestas, associate dean of the college, and a Gulf War veteran, concurs that veterans are well-equipped to handle farming because of their military training, their experience working outdoors and their understanding of preserving natural resources. “They have leadership skills, a can-do attitude and this makes them perfect for it.”
Agricultural recruitment comes at a time when unemployment rates are high among veterans and rural America is in need of their skills. Read more about why some young veterans are making careers in agriculture.
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.