Program Helps Connect Ag Producers with Technology to Improve Methods, Teaches Vets to Start or Expand Farming Operations
Mar 20 2018
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, introduced the Veteran and Beginning Farmers Technical Assistance Act. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) program to continue educating farmers and ranchers on farming practices and assist veterans in becoming successful producers.
“Arkansas farmers and ranchers feed the world. Providing access and connecting producers to information helps them make smart business decisions, which is important to our economy and our food supply,” Boozman said. “Developing veterans’ agriculture skills equips them to become the next generation of producers. I’m pleased to work with Sen. Leahy to advance this legislation and preserve this critical program.”
Leahy said, “Farmers are constantly learning and searching for ways to improve their operations and strengthen their profitability. The valuable information and resources that ATTRA provides to Vermont farmers and to farmers across the country -- for free, on a wide range of farm topics -- is vital for American farmers’ survival, particularly as they work to diversify and thrive in competitive markets.”
ATTRA’s Armed to Farm program assists veterans in the transition to civilian life by training them for a career in farming. More than 20 participants in Arkansas have been trained through the program.
"ATTRA has served our nation's farmers for thirty years through training and technical assistance. In addition, we have been honored to assist military veterans as they enter farming careers through our ATTRA-supported Armed to Farm. We have seen veterans start and expand farming operations, enter new markets, and contribute to their local economies. We look forward to continuing this work for Arkansas farmers, and all the farmers and veterans across the country," said Margo Hale, Southeast Regional Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
ATTRA was reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. The program is set to expire this year.