Scholarship to help veterans, active military get into agriculture

LITTLE ROCK –Military veterans and active military personnel have until Sept. 1 to apply for a $1,000 Homegrown by Heroes scholarship.

The financial award — offered through a partnership of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas — goes toward attending the Center for Arkansas Farm and Food’s Farm School. Applications are available at agriculture.arkansas.gov/arkansas-department-of-agriculture-programs.

Homegrown By Heroes is an Arkansas Department of Agriculture program that helps farmer veterans market their agricultural products by labeling them as veteran-produced.

“We are proud to partner with Farm Credit to provide a scholarship for the men and women who have served our country in the military,” Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward said. “Military service members have many skills that make them great candidates for successful careers in agriculture. It is an honor to provide this scholarship as a way of thanking them for their service to our country.”

The farm school is an 11-month program at the Milo Shult Ag Research and Extension Center on the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. It combines hands-on specialty crop farming with classes in production, business and legal issues. The approach is specifically designed for beginning farmers of fruit, vegetable flowers, and herbs who are interested in selling to local and regional markets.

The 2023 program starts in January, with classes and farm work scheduled for approximately 20 hours per week, Monday through Thursday. The total cost of the program is $2,500. More information is available at LearnToFarm.org.

Scholarship recipients are selected based on career goals, goals for farm/ranch, experience and financial need. Preference is given to Arkansas Homegrown By Heroes members, but membership is not required.

“The Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas appreciate the service Arkansas veterans and current military personnel give our country,” said Brandon Haberer, CEO and president of Farm Credit of Western Arkansas. “We are pleased to help service members pursue careers in the agricultural field by sponsoring these scholarships.”

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