The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc. is a farm designed and dedicated to returning service members and veterans of all eras to educate on all aspects of agriculture. VFNC helps them learn through on farm production models of sustainable livestock production and organic vegetable production. Other mentorship opportunities with conventional farms are utilized for specialized interests for veterans wishing to learn about other avenues of farm production models.
Agriculture and agribusiness constitute a huge industry in North Carolina, contributing $84 billion of the annual gross state product (Walden, 2016), nonetheless NC agriculture faces a significant challenge. The average age of a North Carolina farmer is 58.9 years and NC farms are quite diverse in nature with over 50,000 farms, most being between 10-49 acres. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012a). North Carolina certainly needs to add new farm entrepreneurs to replace those retiring to keep up with the growing food demands of a rising population globally.
Another major player in NC’s economy is the military with a, “significant impact on the state’s economy.” (Levy, 2015) American Community Survey estimates that more than 666,000 military service members and veterans call North Carolina home (Tippett, 2018).
One avenue to address the issues of agriculture is to assist, educate, mentor, and train exiting military personnel and veterans where it is most effective to do so. Fort Bragg, NC is the largest populated US Army base, serving 238,646 active duty and reserve Soldiers and veterans, civilian employees, and family members within the local area (Militarybases.us, 2019).