Swords to plowshares

‘Battleground to Breaking Ground’ ag workshop for vets to be held Oct. 19 in Edinburg

EDINBURG — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, in cooperation with the Texas AgrAbility Project and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will present an agriculture workshop for military veterans Oct. 19 in Edinburg.

A free 'Battleground to Breaking Ground' agriculture program for military veterans will be held Nov.  in Edinburg. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

A free agricultural workshop for military veterans will be held Oct. 19 in Edinburg. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The free workshop will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at The University of Texas-Pan American, 1407 E. Freddy Gonzalez Drive.

Called “From Battleground to Breaking Ground: A Transformational Journey,” the workshop gives military veterans interested in farming or ranching the opportunity to get information on starting, developing and funding an agriculture-based business, according to program coordinators.

Presentations will include an address by a veteran currently involved in production agriculture, as well as an overview of the AgrAbility Program, and information on resources available for funding options, business plan development and resource networking.

“The workshop also addresses the possibilities for ranching or farming for veterans with disabilities,” said Dr. Cheryl Grenwelge, AgriLife Extension specialist in disability transition with the Texas AgrAbility Project. “We’re hoping military veterans will take advantage of this program, which has been designed with input from AgriLife Extension, AgrAbility, the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, the National Farmer Veteran Coalition, Farm Service Agency, USDA Risk Management and Texas Department of Agriculture.”

Grenwelge said the local point of contact for the workshop is Carlos Gutierrez, the University of Texas-Pan American Veterans Business Outreach Program in Edinburg at 956-665-7567 or cgutierrez@utpa.edu. More information on the veterans business outreach program can be found at http://www.utpa.edu/vboc.

To ensure adequate space, attendees are requested to RSVP by registering online in advance at http://txagrability.tamu.edu/. A registration form can also be downloaded from the site and mailed to the attention of either Dr. Cheryl Grenwelge or Erin Pilosi at: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 578 John Kimbrough, College Station, Texas 77843-2251 or emailed to EMPilosi@ag.tamu.edu.

“The Texas AgrAbility Program’s focus is on connecting, assisting and empowering agricultural producers, their family members and employees with disabilities and chronic health conditions to stay engaged in production agriculture,” Grenwelge said. “About 45 percent of returning veterans are from rural areas and we want to enable veterans with or without disabilities to return to the area of production agriculture if they choose.”

For more information, go to http://txagrability.tamu.edu/ or contact Grenwelge at 979-845-3727 or chgrenwelge@ag.tamu.edu.

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