Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training project accepting applications

Informational webinar Feb. 6; kickoff for military-oriented project April 7-8 in College Station

Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contacts: Erin Kimbrough, 979-847-6185, erin.kimbrough@ag.tamu.edu

Mackenzie McLaurin, 979-862-1913, makenzie.mclaurin@ag.tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, in cooperation with the Texas AgrAbility Project, U.S. Department of Agriculture and others, is accepting applications for their Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training project now through March 18.

Application instructions can be found at http://txagrability.tamu.edu/bgbget-application/.

The Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training project helps current and former military service members with training, information, guidance, technical assistance and resources related to  agricultural production. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The kickoff for the new entrepreneurial “cohort” group, which is expected to consist primarily of military veterans, will be April 7-8 at the Millican Reserve, 19851 Farm-to-Market Road 2154, College Station.

Program registration is $125 per participant, which includes all event activities, a farm tour and workshop materials. Spouses are encouraged to join for $75 per person. Participants are responsible for their own lodging.

Those interested in applying should attend an applicant webinar that will provide more details on the program its goals, how to apply and tips for successful applications, said Erin Kimbrough, AgriLife Extension family and community health program coordinator, College Station.

The applicant webinar will be at 11 a.m. Feb. 6. Information on how to register for the webinar can be found at the bottom of the application website home page.

“This three-phase entrepreneurial training project is intended to enhance the sustainability of new veteran agriculturalists by providing an innovative, holistic model for education, training, technical assistance and outreach,” Kimbrough said. “It provides face-to-face and online training as well as hands-on experiential training and technical guidance in all areas of agriculture production.”

The project features online courses related to business planning, risk management, goal setting, funding sources, recordkeeping, budgeting, marketing, agricultural safety, and crop and livestock production. It will also incorporate hands-on field trainings, mentorship, individual education planning and transition services, and disability support.

“Attendees will be required to participate both days of the program kickoff, which will provide them with unique learning and networking opportunities,” Kimbrough said. “One of these will be the introduction to the full Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training Project.”

“The goal of the ‘basic training’ weekend is to bring participants together for team building, networking and program introduction, as well as for education and a better understanding of the resources available to people interested in an agricultural enterprise,” she said.

The event will also include the graduation ceremony for Cohort 1 and will give the new cohort time to connect with this successful group of new veteran farmers/ranchers. Cohort 1 will be then included as potential mentors for incoming cohorts.

A primary goal of the project is to give vets and other beginning farmers/ranchers with and without disabilities better access to resources and opportunities — not only in agriculture but in other career areas as well, she said.

“We can help attendees with a starting point for developing a business plan and getting the technical assistance they need,” Kimbrough said. “We can also help point them to the agencies that can provide them with the funding they are seeking and make it easier for them to start their own agricultural operation.”

Program partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas Department of Agriculture, Farmers Assisting Returning Military or FARM, Capital Farm Credit, the Farmer Veteran Coalition, VetAdvisor, Texas Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Millican Alliance and Mesquite Field Farm.

For more information, go to the Texas AgrAbility website or contact Kimbrough at 979-847-6185 or erin.kimbrough@ag.tamu.edu or McLaurin at 979-862-1913 or makenzie.mclaurin@ag.tamu.edu.

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Source: Agriculture Section – AgriLife Feed

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