Preparing Iowa veterans for careers in food and agriculture

Attend a listening session for an apprenticeship program in April

The Connecting Veterans to Agri-Food System Opportunities (AgVets) program from National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) builds on an existing national program for veterans who wish to explore careers in production agriculture and agri-food system supply chain businesses.

In Iowa, Veterans in Agriculture, Iowa State University Extension, and Iowa Microloan are partnering to develop and offer integrated resources for apprenticeships, including on-the-job training and required technical instruction, mentorship and facilitated workshops.

Activities will be designed to increase awareness about agriculture and agri-food supply chain career pathways for veterans returning to civilian life, including successful transitions. This grant allows for a broad range of multi-faceted learning opportunities, so each veteran can choose from career pathways in:

  • local food production
  • commercial agriculture
  • food systems industry

Two registered apprenticeships, workshops and educational offerings will be available throughout the grant cycle. Each of the three career pathways will incorporate facilitated course instruction with curricula, resources and mentorship. One-on-one assistance will enhance each veteran’s ability to confirm unique business aspects such as financial management, whole farm and succession planning and business plan development.

As part of the program development, grant partners are holding listening sessions in April for the following audiences:

  • Veterans and Beginning Farmers (potential mentees): Thursday, April 22, 1 to 2 p.m. Program overview and registered apprenticeship opportunities. Register here.
  • Farmers and Food Businesses (potential mentors): Monday, April 19, 1 to 2 p.m. Program overview and mentorship opportunities. Register here.
  • Community College Representatives (connecting veterans to apprenticeships): Monday, April 19, 9 to 10 a.m. Program and apprenticeship overview. Register here.

Questions about the grant or the webinars? Contact Beth Grabau, executive director of Iowa Veterans in Agriculture.

The mission of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program is to support value-added agriculture enterprises, businesses, and regional food systems through research, education and community engagement.