Armed to Farm is a sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans. The National Center for Appropriate Technology, a national nonprofit organization based in Butte, Montana, developed Armed to Farm through a cooperative agreement with USDA-Rural Development. Since launching in 2013, Armed to Farm has supported more than 1,000 veterans from 47 states with hands-on and classroom learning opportunities. Farmer veterans learn how to make a business plan and market their products, how to access USDA programs, set business goals, and develop mentorships with seasoned farmers.
The weeklong flagship training also features farm tours and hands-on activities at a variety of successful farms. Participants learn from seasoned farmers and gain direct experience on livestock, vegetable, fruit, and agritourism operations.
Farmer veterans who complete one of the training series stay connected to their peers, and often develop ties to other farmers, increasing their ability to succeed. These farmer veterans have access to individualized technical assistance, one-on-one consultations, in-person networking events, and virtual learning opportunities through the National Center for Appropriate Technology.