Military Business

“Soldiers to Ag” program provides transitioning soldiers with hands-on learning

By Staff Report, posted 6 days ago
Photo provided by NC Cooperative Extension

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners received a presentation on the Soldiers to Agriculture program from the N.C. Cooperative Extension Director, Lisa Childers during their regular meeting on Sept. 19 at the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse.

The “Soldiers to Ag” program is a part of Fort Bragg’s Transition Assistance Program and is open to all transitioning military members within 180 days of separation, veterans and dependents. It is a five-week course that teaches attendees not only the agricultural aspect of being a farmer, but the importance of understanding the business side of being a farmer. 

According to the presentation delivered by Childers at the meeting, the program covers topics such as:

  • Starting a small business
  • Horticulture
  • Livestock
  • Aquaponics
  • Homesteading
  • Forestry
  • Agritourism
  • Beekeeping
  • Turf/Landscaping 

Santoine Walker, a recent graduate of the program, shared about her experience in the program: “I was interested in this program because I wanted to learn how to grow my own food, and I learned a whole lot in this class about food, our food industry, our agriculture, it is an awesome program I would recommend this program to anyone…it was a great experience to be in our community and just learning about our neighbors who are growing our food to feed the country…”

The first class completed the program on Sept. 1 and seven soldiers graduated from the program. A new session will be held from Jan. 17 - Feb. 17, 2023.

Classes are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with Friday’s sessions being held virtually. The first three weeks of the course consist of a classroom portion, and the final two weeks consist of hands-on and on-farm internship opportunities. 

Contact the Soldiers to Agriculture program lead Liz Joseph to apply: email liz_joseph@ncsu.edu or call or text (914) 489-5330

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