Farming is tough work. Those farmers that succeed often do so through mentorship and support from like-minded individuals in the farming community. The Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Network (PAVFN) is there to provide veteran farmers with the resources needed to make their agricultural endeavors successful. We provide connections with peers, host educational and on-farm workshops, and coordinate with local, state, and federal agencies to assist with the many hurdles that must be overcome to succeed as a producer.
Through shared knowledge and expertise, PAVFN helps to increase the success of veterans who want to improve and strengthen their farms and aid those just starting out in establishing their businesses. The Network is comprised of veterans, military, and their spouses who are either interested in or are already participating in Pennsylvania agriculture. We aim to replicate the brotherhood and camaraderie our military members grew to love during their time in service and use that idea of communal purpose to help them excel outside of the uniform. Attention to detail, a high level of motivation, and dedication to the task at hand are all valuable personality traits developed through service that also lend themselves perfectly to farming.
As the older generation of farmers retires, we would like to see those positions filled with motivated veteran farmers dedicated to providing the best food possible to their fellow Pennsylvanians. Military veterans possess the drive, determination, and resilience necessary to manage the myriad challenges farming will place in their path. Whether their interests lie in livestock, market gardening, aquaculture, or any of the other various agricultural pursuits, the PAVFN either has the resources needed, or has someone within the network willing and able to help.
Another benefit offered by PAVFN is our interactive map detailing the locations and offerings of member farms across the state of Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. By purchasing from veteran farms in your area you positively impact your local economy while also supporting the veterans who farm, and their families. Member farms offer delicious produce, the finest meats and cheeses, and even wine and beer! Please check out the map and consider spending some of your hard-earned grocery budget with a local veteran farmer. Better yet, click on one of the farms and reach out to them for information about their offerings, and possibly schedule a farm tour. There is something special about being in touch with your food and knowing your farmer.
We will be hosting the PA Veteran Farming Conference in New Cumberland, PA on Friday, February 2, 2024. The day will be packed full of presentations from knowledgeable agricultural experts and professionals well versed on the various issues and concerns that present themselves to veteran farms – from legal considerations to sustainability to ways to significantly improve your farming operation. The PA Veteran Farming Conference is an outstanding opportunity to network with peers at all levels of farming entrepreneurship and discover ways to implement good practices on your farm while learning how to steer clear of avoidable pitfalls. Come on out and see what we have to offer you.
To get connected, see upcoming events, find a veteran farm near you, or to learn more about the Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Network, please visit our website, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.