Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding announced Friday that Veteran’s services, agricultural and other organizations may apply for funding to deliver grants to military veterans for farm and related business start-ups and expansion.
The opportunity is available through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill and the Agriculture Business Development Center. The center will fund up to three $100,000 grants to organizations which will in turn offer grants up to $10,000 to individual military veterans for agricultural business needs.
The subgrants to veterans can support a wide range of expenses from food safety and biosecurity planning to equipment, marketing and working capital.
According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, Pennsylvania is home to more than 7,000 military veterans who identified as agricultural producers.
“Pennsylvania agriculture needs a skilled, work-ready workforce to keep feeding the world,” Redding said. “Veterans return from serving our country with valuable, transferrable skills they can put to work on the farm. Like any other business, they need to finance planning, safety, permits, equipment, and other critical needs. These grants are one way we can thank our veterans for their service and feed their future success in agriculture.”
The PA Farm Bill increased support for the PA Preferred Homegrown By Heroes program, which helps farmer veterans market their locally grown products to feed consumer demand.
Full guidelines for the new grants can be found in the PA Bulletin.
Organizations must submit applications using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application by Friday, June 17, 2022, at 5 p.m. Applicants who have questions may contact Joshua Scheinberg at 717-919-0377.
For more information on Pennsylvania veterans in agriculture, click here.