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ENHANCING AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR OZARKS FARMER VETERANS

Investigators
Auterson, M.
Institutions
Springfield Community Gardens
Start date
2020
End date
2023
Objective
Springfield Community Gardens (SCG) is a non-profit based in Springfield, Missouri and founded in 2010 whose mission is to create community gardens that strengthen neighborhoods where people can grow healthy relationships, food and community. With 17 community gardens, four urban farms, and a commercial community kitchen that collectively reach hundreds of households located throughout Springfield, SCG envisions a community in which everyone has access to healthy, local food. SCG, along with a diverse network of project partners (Missouri State University, the University of Missouri Extension, Wellness for Warriors, and American Legion Post 125) seeks to assist 50 socially disadvantaged (with particular emphasis on racially/ethnically or socially disadvantaged) military veterans and transitioning service members in Greene and Webster counties with agricultural employment, training, and entrepreneurship with emphasis on those residing or returning to rural communities through a combination of educational training sessions, hands on education, and intensive mentoring over the course of 3 years. The proposed project is based upon the SCG farmer assistant and farmer apprentice model that has shown significant success among local diverse populations. The project will increase transitioning service member and veteran awareness of the opportunities available to them in employment, education, and entrepreneurship; increase their understanding how they can contribute and benefit from the food and agricultural sectors and contribute to communities in rural America; connect participants to USDA services and resources; and ultimately contribute to rural economic opportunity by meeting the unique needs of underserved military veteran farmers and those interested in agricultural careers.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
MO.W-2020-08043
Accession number
1023995
Categories
Education and Training