WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/19/22] — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced $750,000 in federal funding to support training, mentorship and other opportunities for veterans looking to transition into agricultural careers. The investments will create jobs and strengthen Minnesota’s agricultural workforce by providing hands-on training and mentorship for veterans pursuing opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness.
“The men and women who serve our country deserve our utmost respect. That means when they come home, they get the benefits and care they earned and have the opportunities and training they need to pursue good jobs,” said Sen. Smith. “This funding will help connect Minnesota veterans with the hands-on training and assistance they need to transition into agricultural careers. I will continue working to ensure our veterans get the support and training they need to find good-paying careers when they come home.”
The investment, which will support the AgVets program in Little Falls Minnesota, is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Support Military Veteran Agriculture Training Program. The program supports the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans.
AgVets projects offer hands-on training and classroom education, which helps veterans build a comprehensive understanding of successful farm and ranch operations and management practices. The program also connects veterans interested in pursuing a career in agriculture with mentoring and other resources.
Senator Smith has advocated for veterans and strengthening Minnesota’s agricultural workforce since coming to the Senate. As part of the 2018 Farm Bill, Smith secured provisions from her Vets 2-FARM Act to help veterans transition to agriculture jobs once they return from service. She also helped secure permanent funding for outreach and training programs to help veterans and other beginning farmers start careers in agriculture. Additionally, Smith was the Committee lead on a bill to help veteran farmers access USDA training and finance programs, which was eventually passed as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.