MANHATTAN — New pathways exist for transitioning military members wanting a career in agriculture after their service concludes.
The Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education (SAVE) Farm located north of Keats in Riley County is helping that become a reality for many. Founder and President Gary LaGrange says applications are still being sought for their upcoming accredited course which starts Jan. 23.
LaGrange says an estimated 40 percent of all transitioning military members in the U.S. are interested in a career in farming. In addition, 63 percent of all American farms are in the last generation, looking for a succession plan.
In late 2018, the SAVE Farm received a $1 million grant to be utilized a variety of different ways as LaGrange explains.
The nonprofit organization previously received separate grant funding to expand its beekeeping operation to 500 colonies over a three-year period. Sen. Jerry Moran has been an avid supporter of the SAVE Farm. In 2016, his appropriations bill, which included $5 million in funding for veteran outreach passed out of the full Appropriations Committee, and became law as part of the Fiscal 2017 omnibus after passing the House and Senate later that year.
More information is available at thesavefarm.org.