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Carson Creek Ranch Food and Agriculture Center ~ 2018 Veteran Agripreneur Program
by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Friday Aug 25th, 2017 3:55 PM
Carson Creek Ranch Food and Agriculture Center is developing broad based collaborative partnerships to strengthen and enhance resources to benefit California’s veterans, socially disadvantaged and historically underserved populations. Join us to share education and advocacy support for AB 376 (Chavez) proposed California bipartisan legislation that may enhance local support for pending recommendations from the Federal Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity as we prepare to implement our 2018 Veteran Agripreneur Program and stronger consideration within the 2018 Farm Bill conversation.
Sacramento County ~ Agriculture is a major industry in California, with 81,700 farms and ranches. California agriculture is nearly a thirty-seven-billion-five-hundred-million-dollar ($37,500,000,000) industry that generates one hundred billion dollars ($100,000,000,000) in related economic activity.

In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture Secretary cited that the aging of principal farm operators across the nation is rising. USDA ~ NASS 2012 Census of Agriculture finds that the average age of America’s principal farm operators is 58.3 years of age and one-third are 65 years or older.

Recognizing the growth of America’s Agriculture needs; low proportions of beginning farmers and ranchers nationwide, the USDA Secretary identified America’s returning military veterans as a promising population to enter careers as farmers and ranchers.

The 2014 United States Farm Bill, also known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, contained various landmark incentives designed to assist the nation’s returning military veterans and socially disadvantaged populations to acquire skills needed to start and manage a farm. Incentives include, but are not limited to, farm loans and microloans, education and training and technical assistance, including training in natural resource conservation techniques and practices.

In November 2014, the USDA announced the designation of the nation’s first USDA Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison to coordinate information, resources, and support for active duty military and veterans interested in entering careers as farmers and ranchers.

Eight percent of the nation’s homeless populations are military veterans and 45 percent of homeless veterans are African American or Latino, while less than 10 percent are women. More than six million veterans reside in rural America and approximately two million veterans are residents of California.

California veterans use fewer benefits than their peers at the national level. While all veterans report only partial awareness of benefits for which they are eligible, some states have more advanced outreach programs to connect veterans and socially disadvantaged populations to these available resources.

Today, the California Legislature recognizes opportunities to the state through landmark funding contained in the 2014 United States Farm Bill and subsequent Federal authorization to assist military veterans in entering careers as farmers and ranchers.

Carson Creek Ranch Food and Agriculture Center is developing broad based partnerships to strengthen new opportunities that benefit California’s veterans, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers while engaging historically underserved populations toward supporting of AB 376 (Chavez.)

Successful "California Grown" agriculture should support our unique notion of rural prosperity and strong local food systems that honors our California story.