Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reserve Program Application 2017
The Veteran Farmer Reserve Program is a tuition-based training program that will take place one weekend a month for 12 months beginning in January 2017, with an additional 40 hours of individual on-farm work to be completed before the end of the year. Based at Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn in Alexandria, Va., outside the gates of Fort Belvoir, but extending into the rural areas surrounding the national capital region, this training requires that participants have a commitment to learning about growing food and planning a successful farm business operation. We are creating farmers.

Application Deadline: Dec. 31, 2016. We are accepting members of the Reserve on a rolling basis, so please don't wait until the last minute to apply.

Each monthly weekend seminar will include:
• Classroom time structured around farm and business practices and a focused plant family
• Practical cultivation skills and hands-on work on the farm or in the greenhouse
• Field visits to other farms or agricultural operations
• Independent reading to be completed before the seminar

Reserve Farmers are required to pay attention to detail, complete assigned tasks, readings, and records; to report directly to Arcadia farmers for instruction, observation, and direction; to complete 40 hours of farm work at Arcadia during the year, with a minimum of 10 hours per quarter; to articulate observations, questions, and needs. Reservists must also have access to reliable transportation. Above all, Reservists need to enjoy what we do, and keep a positive attitude, a sense of humor, curiosity, and goodwill.

Our program is effective. Of the 13 veterans engaged at Arcadia, four have already started farming or planning farms on newly purchased land, family land, or leased land. One is in the process of buying land to farm. One has been offered a full-time farming job at Arcadia. Two have Mission Continues paid fellowships on our farm. Three have obtained jobs in agriculture or food systems work through Arcadia. Three attended a week-long agroforestry academy with full scholarships through their involvement with Arcadia. We will continue to engage and support these new farmers (and now friends) as they construct new careers in agriculture.

The Veteran Farmer Program is intended to ground veterans in the science and art of cultivation; help them develop farm skills; expose them to the multitude of opportunities in sustainable agriculture; and emerge from the program with a business plan for their current or future operation. It's hard work but it is also really, really fun.

The curriculum will be adjusted as necessary to respond to what is growing on Arcadia farm, the weather, newly published works, and the schedules of guest instructors and partner farms.

Program tuition is $1,995 for the 12 weekend sessions, with some scholarships available. Tuition includes breakfast, lunch and other meals as appropriate, transportation costs when traveling as a group, and instruction and course materials.

Anticipated 2017 Dates (please be available for both days, every weekend):
Jan. 28/29
Feb. 25/26
March 25/26
April 29/30
May 20/21
June 24/25
July 29/30
Aug 26/27
Sept 23/24
Oct 28/29
Nov 18/19
December 16/17

With gratitude to our sponsors who make the 2017 Veteran Farmer Program possible:
Grace Communications Foundation
Prince Charitable Trusts
Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Email address *
Laron Murrell, Veteran Farm Fellow 2015-2016
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Veteran Reservists learn transplanting skills
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Learning drip irrigation skills
Name, Mailing Address, Phone *
Your answer
Current job/work situation *
Your answer
Military Service (branch, dates, significant experiences) *
Your answer
Nature of discharge *
Educational Background (High School/GED, college if applicable, degrees. Please include dates) *
Your answer
Please list any other skills that you have learned through work, military service or other ways, that you will apply to a career in agriculture. *
Your answer
Tell us why you want to learn to farm. Include details about plans you have for your own farm, if applicable. What do you want to grow? On what scale? *
Your answer
What do you think your military service will bring to a new career in farming? *
Your answer
Please indicate your interest in the following. Your response will shape field trips and classroom lessons. *
Are there any other things that you would like us to know about you, or anything else that you wish to comment on? *
Your answer
Will you require a full or partial scholarship to participate? We require that full scholarship recipients make a refundable deposit of $500 to participate in the program. The deposit will be returned at completion of the program. *
Farming is physically rigorous work. By checking each box below, you acknowledge your understanding that these are essential functions or requirements of this training program. If you cannot check all the boxes, skip to the next question. *
If you have a physical limitation or injury that prevents you from checking any of the boxes above, Arcadia may be able to accommodate your training regardless. If you are still interested in a career in agriculture, please describe below the nature of your limitation, and let's talk about what's possible!
Your answer
Rate your physical condition *
Are you allergic to any foods or medicines? Please describe. (Note: There is poison ivy as well as stinging and biting insects around the Farm, and we share "family meals" on our training weekends.) *
Your answer
Do you have a valid and current driver’s license and reliable transportation? *
Please provide three personal or professional references. *
Your answer
If funding becomes available for an on-farm, full-time year-long Veteran Farm Fellowship, would you like to be considered? As a VA On the Job Training Program, you would be able to access your base housing allowance benefits through the GI Bill to supplement the small salary.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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