Veterans Agricultural Training and Education Program (VATEP)

VATEP is presented by VFNC and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at USDA. It is a six-month, comprehensive program covering the agricultural basics needed to start, run, market, and secure resources to grow your operation. It’s designed to take any skill level and prepare them to farm upon exit of the program.  Any Skillbridge internship will complete VATEP.

Participants will have the opportunity to work with each aspect of the farm’s production offerings, develop a plan and implement it onto the farm, and manage the business aspects of agricultural production on the farm while attending lectures online throughout the course.

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The course is dependent on you completing lectures online and practicing the applications here on the farm three times per week. Some weekend attendance will be required, specifically in the final two months of your course. There is no cost for this program currently.

2022 & 2023 Course dates:

July 18th 2022 – January 13th 2023

November 18th 2022 – May 18th 2023

March 18th 2023 – Sept 18th 2023

Program Outline (Each topic has lectures and labs)


What is Agriculture

Ag Safety and Health

Soil (A farmer, at their core, is a soil producer)

Land Recovery (starting from scratch)

Poultry (Chicken & Turkey)

Livestock (Cattle, Sheep, Hog)

Horticulture Vegetable, Fruit, Ornamental Production

Mushroom Cultivation

Crop Science

Land Acquisition

Basic Carpentry, Electrical, & Plumbing For Farms


Mechanical Maintenance (Preventive & Small Repairs)

Pasture Management

Permaculture Basics


Agricultural Economics


Budgeting and Feasibility

Federal, State, Local Programs and Assistance and Other Resources



Risk Management

Business Plans

And much more!