The fourth annual Service to Stewardship farmer veteran workshop will be held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA April 7-8, 2017.
ALL FARMERS ARE INVITED!
Check back often as speakers and programs are updated!
“I learned how to catch and halter a sheep, giving me confidence I COULD handle sheep. Finding one's passion is critical.” -- Barbara Rosholdt, 2014 workshop attendee from Mineral, VA.
In 2012 The Livestock Conservancy received a call from Michael O'Gorman, the Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coaltion. He indicated that most of the veterans that were contacting the coaltion, wanted to work with heritage breeds. So the Conservancy partnered with the Coalition to organize and hold a workshop in Pittsboro, NC, to provide veterans the education needed to succeed with heritage breed farming. From this The Livestock Conservancy's Service to Stewardship initiative was launched as part of its Train the Next Generation Program. By supporting veterans who raise heritage breeds, The Livestock Conservancy simultaneously serves its own mission of livestock and poultry breed conservation.
Our veterans face many challenges. Some of them struggle to find jobs. Some struggle to find productive ways to reconnect with society. They need time to heal, and a place to do it. With so many of our veterans returning to small communities, many find healing in rural life and farming. The act of raising animals and giving new life is a benefit to our soldiers.
Veterans are also service minded, and want to find new ways to serve their communities. Those that farm want most of all to feed their families and their neighbors. They find that raising endangered breeds of livestock and poultry, is a good way to add yet another form of service by helping save breeds that might otherwise disappear.
“Veterans are especially suited for heritage breed agriculture due to our unique connection with the heritage of our country,” said Althea Raiford, a workshop attendee from Brunswick, Georgia. “For many of us, farming and being in the military is part of our personal heritage and pride in being an American.”