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The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Operation Grow project invites you to be a part of Operation Grow Boot Camp, a one-day training for military veterans interested in agriculture. This event is part of a statewide outreach campaign to help veterans and their families obtain information and training, as well as provide opportunities to network with organizations who can provide valuable resources.


When: Friday, May 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center—850 Lay Dam Rd., Clanton, AL 35045


The cost to attend this event is $15, which includes lunch. To register for the conference, visit the Alabama Extension Store at www.aces.edu/store.


The Operation Grow Boot Camp will include presentations on a variety of topics to contribute to your operation’s success.

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. — Registration

9:00 – 11:30 a.m. — General Session

  • Welcome
    • Harli Willis, Operation Grow Coordinator, Alabama Extension
  • Business Planning
    • Ajoa Brothers, Outreach Programs Administrator, Auburn University
  • Grants and Loans
    • Jayme Oates, Director, Farmscape Solutions
  • Agricultural Resources
    • Bob Plaster, Assistant Commissioner, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
  • Veteran Resources
    • Sandra Lucas, Assistant Commissioner of Outreach and Engagement, Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. — Lunch and Networking at Resource Fair

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. — Concurrent Sessions

  • Large Livestock
    • Joshua Elmore, Regional Extension Agent, Alabama Extension
  • Crop Production
    • David Lawrence, Regional Extension Agent, Alabama Extension
  • Irrigation and Sprayer Calibration
    • Chip East, Regional Extension Agent, Alabama Extension
    • Eric Shavey, County Coordinator, Alabama Extension
  • Insect Pest Management in Vegetables
    • Ayanava Majumdar, Assistant Director for Grant and Program Development, Alabama Extension

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. — One-on-One Sessions

  • Business Planning
    • Ajoa Brothers
  • Irrigation and Sprayer Calibration
    • Chip East and Eric Schavey
  • Pest Management
    • Ayanava Majumdar
  • Grants and Loans
    • Jayme Oates

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. — Evaluations, Networking, and Closing

More Information

For more information, contact Harli Willis at 334-707-2524 or hbw0014@aces.edu.

About Operation Grow

The Operation Grow project, as part of the Alabama Beginning Farmer program, provides special emphasis on the training needs of military veterans interested in agriculture. Alabama Beginning Farmer is led by the Alabama Extension commercial horticulture team. Overall, Operation Grow supports grassroots educational and networking efforts that are inclusive of all veterans and their families with universal access to information and resources. Learn more about Operation Grow at www.Operation-Grow.com.

Thank you to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, the Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission, as well as USDA-NIFA, USDA SARE, CPPM/Extension IPM grants for supporting the Alabama Beginning Farmer Program and the Operation Grow project efforts. These efforts have reached over 450 producers directly and many others indirectly, making a deep impact on Alabama’s economy.