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The Veterans Florida Agriculture Program

The Veterans Florida Agriculture Program is an innovative initiative designed to facilitate the transition of military veterans into the agricultural sector.

This program, a collaborative effort between Veterans Florida and various agricultural institutions and businesses, aims to provide veterans with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to pursue careers in agriculture.


The Veterans Florida Agriculture Program addresses the dual needs of supporting veterans in their post-service careers and meeting the increasing demand for skilled leaders in the Florida agricultural industry. The program is structured to offer comprehensive training and hands-on experience in various aspects of agriculture, ranging from traditional crop farming to the application of advanced technology driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

Training and Education

The program covers a wide array of agricultural topics. Participants receive training in sustainable farming practices, crop production, livestock management, aquaculture (see right), and the use of modern agricultural technologies. The training is designed to be both educational and practical, ensuring that veterans gain a deep understanding of agricultural principles while also acquiring the hands-on skills necessary to implement these practices effectively.

One of the key features of the program is its partnership with the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. This partnership allows veterans to benefit from the expertise of university faculty and access to research facilities. Additionally, participants can earn industry certifications and pursue coursework towards a degree, which enhances their employability and potential for career advancement in the agricultural sector.

Hands-On Experience

The Veterans Florida Agriculture Program encourages experiential learning. Veterans participate in field visits at local farms and agricultural businesses, providing them with real-world experience and the opportunity to apply their knowledge in practical settings. These encounters are crucial for helping veterans understand the day-to-day operations of agricultural enterprises and develop a network of professional contacts within the industry.


Support and Resources

Recognizing the unique challenges that veterans may face when transitioning to civilian careers, the program offers a range of support services. These include job placement assistance post-internship, and mentorship from experienced agricultural professionals. The program also provides resources for veterans interested in starting their own agribusiness with the opportunity to apply for the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program. This cohort based training offers guidance on business planning, access to funding opportunities, and information on relevant requirements to become a Florida registered business.

Impact and Success Stories

Since its inception, the Veterans Florida Agriculture Program has had a significant impact on the lives of participating veterans and the broader agricultural community. Many veterans have successfully transitioned to careers in agriculture, finding fulfilling careers that leverage their skills and offer a sense of purpose. The program has also contributed to the agricultural industry by providing a pipeline of skilled and motivated workers. Success stories abound, with veterans establishing their own farms, taking on leadership roles in agricultural businesses, and contributing to innovative agricultural projects.


The Veterans Florida Agriculture Program represents a valuable model for supporting veterans while addressing critical labor needs in agriculture. Through comprehensive training, hands-on experience, and robust support services, the program empowers veterans to build rewarding careers in a vital industry, thereby contributing to their personal success and the prosperity of the agricultural sector as a whole.

For more information, please visit

Veterans Florida team (from left: Ben Motes, Amy Entress Dudley, Josh Parker, Derrick Fraser) at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. Credit: Elena Steinbach, Veterans Florida, 2023.

Aquaculture facility in central Florida. Credit: Elena Steinbach, Veterans Florida, 2023.

Josh Parker at a blueberry farm in Central Florida. Credit: Elena Steinbach, Veterans Florida, 2023.


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