Return The Favor: Veterans Take Up Farming

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Department of Agriculture wants to make sure our veterans aren’t left out at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. They’re honoring individual vets.

They dedicated an entire day to vets at the show, and there’s even a new exhibit for vets this year. Still, the department wants to do more.

But how does agriculture have anything in common with the military?

“One of the interesting things in agriculture is we got two percent of the population directly involved in agriculture,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “It happens to be the same percent of our population that serve or have served in the armed services, so two percent feed us and two percent allow us to sleep well.”

Redding says that population is important and needs to be remembered. The Agriculture Department partnered with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs this year. For the first time, the mobile veterans outreach van made its debut. It’s set up and staffed to provide information and assistance to veterans and their families who may be eligible for programs, benefits, and services. It’s a way to stay visible and reach those who may not know about these important services.

Another area where the Agriculture Department can help is jobs. When members of the military return home from overseas, they often have trouble getting back into the workforce, but Redding says there are plenty of opportunities to put veterans to work in agriculture.

“We’ve got a surging interest in agriculture and the need for more jobs,” he said. “We believe the military families have the right skills and same commitment to work, work ethic. It fits well with agriculture. We want to put them together.”

There has been a surge recently in the number of vets getting out of the service and joining the farming industry. You can support them by looking for the Homegrown By Heroes logo. You can even go one step further by finding one of the combined logos with PA Preferred. That way you know you’re supporting a Pennsylvania veteran.

If you are a veteran and interested in a career in agriculture, check out

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