Arcadia Veteran Farm Fellowship Application 2020
Welcome to Arcadia's Veteran Farmer Program, a USDA-endorsed beginning farmer training program especially for military veterans.
The Veteran Farmer Program has two learning tracks.
This application is for the Veteran Farm Fellowship, a 9-month, full-time paid on-farm fellowship. Fellows are also required to participate in the year-long Veteran Reserve weekends, which begin in January 2020.
If you are not looking for a full-time learning experience, apply for the Veteran Farmer Reserve Program which meets one weekend a month, by copying and pasting this link into your browser:
The Veteran Farmer Reserve is a 12-month tuition based program that takes place one weekend a month, typically the last.
You do not need to fill out a Reserve application if you are applying for the Fellowship, as you will be automatically enrolled in that program.
Depending on funding, it may be possible to hire part-time fellows as well. Fellows are also required to participate in the year-long Veteran Reserve weekends, which begin in January 2020.
About the program:
The Veteran Farmer Program grounds veterans in the science and art of cultivation; helps them develop practical farm skills; exposes them to the multitude of opportunities in sustainable agriculture; and allows them to 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. You'll be with like-minded people, expand your network and your thinking, and be prepared to turn your fantasy of farming into a reality. It won't be easy, but it will be satisfying work.
Our program is effective. More than a third of the veterans and active-duty servicemembers and spouses trained so far have launched businesses, seven have already started farming or planning farms on newly purchased land, family land, or leased land. Four attended a week-long agroforestry academy with full scholarships through their involvement with Arcadia. Three attended the annual Farmer Veteran Coalition conference.
We continue to engage and support these new farmers (and now friends) as they build new careers in agriculture.
We are currently training 26 veterans in the same program, and they are tapping into previous classes as a resource and network.
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.
The Fellowship is a modestly paid, full-time position assisting and learning from our farmers at our vegetable farm. Arcadia's program is an approved VA On-The-Job training program and participants are eligible to access their GI Bill benefits to supplement their income. The total amount depends on the level of GI Bill benefits each Fellow has remaining.
You must be available to work Monday through Friday on our farm in southern Fairfax County, VA. Public transportation is available but often slow, so private transportation is recommended.
WHO SHOULD APPLY: Veterans with honorable or general discharges and active and reserve military personnel. Veterans who want advanced skills in growing commercial-scale vegetables. Veterans who are enthusiastic and inspired about farming/gardening. Military spouses will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with preference given to those with a spouse in the program.
WHEN TO APPLY: Fellows should apply as soon as possible. We expect to hire a fellow in late November for a March 1 start. Please note, you will also be expected to attend the monthly Veteran Farmer Reserve Program training weekends which begin in January 2020.
DEADLINE: Fellowship Application: Oct. 15
You will work alongside our professional farmers and other veteran fellows Monday through Friday -- with some weekend work to be offset by comp days within that pay period. The work year begins in March and continues through the end of November.
The work is physical and primarily outdoors.
You should be in good physical condition, able to lift 50 lbs, and interested in learning to farm in a hands-on environment.
You will also be required to participate in the monthly Veteran Farmer Reserve weekend to supplement your training. This is a $1995 value, and is offered to Fellows free in addition to their salary.
Each monthly weekend seminar will include some combination of the following:
• Classroom time structured around farm and business practices
• 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 each monthly seminar
We will cover:
Farm Business Law & Taxes
Pest & Disease Management
You will receive textbooks; two delicious home-cooked meals and snacks each day of group training; one-on-one and small-group instruction; and individual support and consultation between training weekends. After you graduate, you'll continue on in our network of graduates, with learning, social, and business opportunities forwarded to you as they arise.
You will train alongside other veterans and military personnel.
Most training days begin before 9 am and last until 5 pm. We do not currently offer housing so participants who are traveling from out of the area make their own arrangements. This is taken into account with scholarships.
Anticipated 2020 Reserve Program Training Dates (please be available for both days, every weekend):
With gratitude to our sponsors who have made the Veteran Farmer Program possible:
Grace Communications Foundation
Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Prince Charitable Trusts
Jen Walker Realty
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