Pennsylvania Veterans in Agriculture
In the United States, less than two percent of the population are farmers, and less than 7 percent have served in the armed forces. Veterans in agriculture, those who farm or engage in careers in agriculture, have the distinction of both protecting and being stewards of our lands. Based on the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is currently home to more than 7,000 military veterans identified as agricultural producers, with likely many more engaged in the various career fields in agriculture not captured in the census.
Since 2019, The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has actively supported those veterans engaged in farming through the Homegrown by Heroes program, in collaboration with the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and managed through the PA Preferred Program. Within the Secretary's executive staff a Military Veterans Coordinator is available to provide further outreach, support, and engagement with the veterans in agriculture community. The department is committed to serve and honor veterans who have made agriculture their new mission.
The department aims to expand its outreach and partnerships to existing veterans organizations while seeking to bolster and tailor existing state-wide programs for veterans in agricultural education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The department also seeks to provide access to veterans who wish to serve their communities through future and existing agricultural service-based programs and initiatives. Through this approach, the department seeks to establish a robust and lasting presence within the PA veteran community, providing numerous benefits and opportunities to veterans, their local communities, and the broader agricultural industry.
If you are a veteran or organization already engaged in farming or agricultural initiatives, have interest in future agricultural or service opportunities, we want to hear from you. Please contact the PDA Military Veterans Coordinator, Joshua Scheinberg (firstname.lastname@example.org; 717-919-0377).