With high unemployment rates in the United States and many veterans struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), veterans are finding it tough to slip back into their once normal civilian life.
The latest agricultural census shows the average American farmer is 57 years of age, making nearly 30% of American farmers 65+. The USDA is pushing for 100,000 new farmers.
The solution? Veteran farmers!
The Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program has been developed by a decorated Marine sergeant, Colin Archipley, to offer combat veterans instruction in sustainable agriculture practices as well as an employment opportunity in a high growth industry.
VSAT was originally developed at Archi’s Acres™, Colin and his wife’s small-scale organic farm in Southern California, which they established in 2007, after Colin’s three tours in Iraq. Currently, the VSAT program has partnered with the local community as well as state colleges to offer an intensive six-week course to teach veterans the process (from seed to market) of hydroponic crops. To date, the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program has helped over 100 veterans transition to the civilian work force.
VSAT has other locations in mind for the future and continue to follow their philosophy, “to call up and redirect our veteran’s attributes of leadership, tenaciousness, adaptability, as well as willingness to take on severe challenges, self-knowledge and appetite for the continual improvement.”
Check out this VSAT Program Turning Point Documentary…
The VSAT Program was featured also on the Nightly News with Brian Williams inFebruary 2012.
For more information about VSAT and Archi’s Acres check out their website, http://archisacres.com/