The BattleGround to Breaking Ground project is open to military veterans, active duty service members, their families and other beginning farmers and ranchers. The program consists of three phases that teach participants how to start, maintain and grow a farm or ranch.
Phase 1 includes a one-day introductory workshop that is open to everyone. Workshop attendees will learn about agricultural business concepts such as start-up first steps, business plan development, possibilities for farming or ranching with a disability, financial funding resources, marketing and other resources to support business operations.
Phases 2 and 3 require submission of an online application. Applications are accepted yearly, in the spring and fall. Accepted applicants will receive access to mentorships, hands-on learning opportunities, online agricultural production courses and more. One-on-one coaching will be provided by VetAdvisor® covering topics such as behavioral health and wellness, career and finance, and veteran benefits navigation. Graduates have the option to access land, equipment and established markets to start their farming and ranching enterprises.
- Phase 1 – One-day Introductory Workshop (open to everyone)
- Phase 2 – Sixteen Weeks of Online Business Planning Courses (application required)
- Write your business plan in 16 weeks!
- Financial planning
- Risk management
- USDA NRCS programs
- USDA FSA programs
- TDA programs
- Phase 3 – Hands-On Production Experience (must complete Phase 2 before beginning Phase 3)
- 100 hours of hands-on learning required with mentors or at hand-on learning events
- Online courses in agriculture safety, marketing, business management
- HOL Events