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Dave Flounder, SSSVP veteran farm

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.

Major Objectives

Training – Network – Support for Veteran Farms

Training. Provide a three-step farm planning support system to military veterans interested in farming using hands-on, on-farm, and digital media-based training (integrate technical, experiential, and social learning for veteran-owned farms).

Network with other veteran support agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for extending current knowledge base and assess future needs.

Sustainable support for veteran farmers with localized multi-agency collaboration to increase farming success.



More Information

To register for Operation Grow, please follow this sign-up link here, Operation Grow Registration Link.

If you are a military veteran and interested in establishing a training schedule in your county, contact a commercial horticulture regional Extension agent or county coordinator. Use the Farming Basics mobile app to locate your county-based contacts easily and to connect to a vast array of digital and social media resources such as the Farming Basics online course, a crop, insect, disease, and weed database, as well as social media tools.

For more information on the Alabama Beginning Farmer Program, visit www.AlabamaBeginningFarmer.com. Typically, several personnel from NGOs, state agencies like Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Extension educators form the local support network for new producers. See Where to Start: A Basic Program Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers for information about technical assistance providers (NGO collaborators) for on-farm assistance with loans and certifications.

Project Coordination

  • Harli Willis
  • Ann Chambliss
    • Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Beginning Farmer Program
    • 334-707-4923
    • thameae@auburn.edu

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 the Alabama’s economy.

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