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Veterans Farmers Training at Pocono Organics

08.07.2018

Long Pond, PA - Pocono Organics has established a strategic partnership with Rodale Institute - the world-renown leader in Regenerative Organic Agriculture. The partnership will help to train the next generation of organic farmers in Monroe County, Pennsylvania with a focus on veteran trainees.

 

 

Veterans are a vital group to train as the current farmer population is aging and the demand for organic products continues to grow. Rodale Institute and Pocono Organics recognize this need and will offer dynamic, hands-on Veteran Farmer Training Program specifically to pass on the knowledge and skills of organic agriculture and research.

 

Training at Pocono Organics

 

  • The Pocono Organics farm encompasses 50 acres in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
  • Rodale institute will establish a Veteran Farmer Training program on site.
  • Aspiring farmers will train for up to 8 months and graduate with the knowledge, skills, and tools to start farming organically upon program completion.
  • Trainees will recieve assistance transitioning into careers in organic agriculture upon completion of the training.  Opportunities for employment at Pocono Organics will be first priority for placement. 

 

The Need for New Farmers

 

  • In 2016, U.S. organic food sales totaled near $47 billion - 6% of total food sales
  • Demand outstrips supply as only 1% of U.S. farmland is certified organic.
  • Pennsylvania is second in the country only to Californai in sakes of organic.
  • 1/3 of farmers are past retirement age.
  • Approximately 93 million acres of farmland are poised to change hands in the next five years.
  • There is an immense economic opportunity in Monroe County and PA overall for new organic farmers.

 

Challenges Facing Veterans

 

  • Veterans returning from service often struggle with health and employment.
  • Unemployment for the veteran population is approximately 9% - consistntly higher than the general population and worse for women veterans than men.

 

Organic Farming as a Solution

 

  • Veteran-specific training in organic farming provides returing servicemembers with an experiential educational opportunity and a fulfilling career option
  • Rodale Institute, global leader in regenerative organic agriculture for more than 70 years, has developed veteran-specific training programs offering tailored support to this unique population. They will implement a Veteran Farmer Training Program at Pocono Organics.


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