Beginning farmer training for military veterans

Norm Conrad

Norm Conrad of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)

Military veterans prefer hands-on learning with people they trust. Veterans want to “do” rather than listen to lectures. Successful educators build relationships with veterans and create Beginning Farmer training techniques that address veterans’ unique learning style.

Effective educators offer training and other beginning farmer services for veterans by connecting and engaging with their audience. Norm Conrad suggested agricultural training programs created for veterans include plenty of hand-on experiences for this high-energy group. Veterans learn their technical skills through haptic or hands-on, experiential learning. They are accustomed to demonstrating those skills to peers or sharing skills with other veterans.

Conrad strongly suggests having extra materials on-hand as well as an extra group exercise or activity in the curriculum. Veterans are often more focused, productive and efficient than other workshop attendees. Educators may find events or activities finished early.  [Read the full story here.]

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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