: A veteran and participant of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program handles living basil at an organic hydroponic farm, which grows plants in water as opposed to soil. The program, started by decorated Marine sergeant Colin Archipley, passes on agricultural knowledge to veterans to not only provide healing through farming but also to support them in starting their own agricultural enterprises.
Compost tea (a mixture of recycled organic matter soaked in water), hydroponic living basil, and organic certification are terms that, at first glance, may not have much of a connection to military veterans. Colin Archipley, a decorated Marine sergeant, and his wife Karen however saw the combination as a win-win when they founded the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program outside San Diego, California. Read more »
The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative kickoff week culminated at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. I asked these state leaders to join me in promoting local and regional food systems. I shared with them a video clip of my conversation with Dave Lane, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the Green Mountain State (Vermont). I asked Dave for his insights as to how state governments can help. Watch the video here: Read more »
Last week USDA brought you a series of events and announcements to roll out the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative (KYF2). Today, we’re excited to bring it all together with a new Website for consumers and producers. Read more »
Family farmers from throughout the country descended into St. Louis over the weekend for the 24th annual Farm Aid Conference. Stars including Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Mathews were on hand to shine a spotlight on the struggles that small- and mid-sized farmers face. Read more »