It's never been easier for vets to start a career in farming

Like dirt? This is for you.

Matt Saintsing
January 17, 2018 - 1:30 pm
File photo dated 20/08/13 of a combine harvester at work in a field.

(Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA) *** US Rights Only ***

If you served in the military, you probably woke up early, completed a multitude of tasks to a specific standard, and you definitely know what it feels like to have your hands in the dirt.

Maybe that’s why the Department of Agriculture recently launched a nationwide program to connect veterans to a career in farming.

“The skillsets that these veterans bring from their disciplines in the military are valuable assets there, and we need them in agriculture,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, an Air Force veteran.

About a quarter of all veterans currently live in rural areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, making them prime candidates for farmers and working within the Agriculture department.

The agency has a website dedicated to veterans where they can search employment, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Education is a crucial component; according to a study conducted by Purdue University, there are thousands of jobs in agriculture and agribusiness that aren’t filled due to fewer graduates with expertise in food, agriculture sciences, or renewable natural resources.

If you're from a rural area looking to go back home, or if you want to continue serving your country by helping to feed it, USDA may be for you.

The agency also offers on-the-job training for veterans who are looking to get a job within the department, or in agribusiness. Those interested can talk with someone at the Veterans Employment Program Office.