For Veterans, a Positive Outlet on the Farm

Nick Babcock and Carl Bednarski indicated recently in an opinion column posted at Michigan Farm News Online that, “When soldiers who’ve fought for their country return to the Land of Opportunity, too often they find uncertainty. New legislation introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow and Pat Roberts will give them a better chance to continue serving their country on the farm.

“Make no mistake. These returning veterans want and need ways to continue serving their country. One of the best ways they can do that is to farm, driving their heart for service down a country road that leads to peace and contentment, even if they don’t become wealthy doing it.

“In an age where the American Dream seems undefined or blurry, these veterans bring it all back into focus.”

The column added that, “Too often, we as a nation forget about the sacrifices it takes to enter a war zone. Some people also forget about the long, sometimes frustrating days getting a crop in the ground and caring for livestock…That’s among the reasons Michigan Farm Bureau and many other organizations support The Farmer Veteran Opportunity Act of 2018, which makes all new veterans eligible for support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“The bill also improves access for Michigan farmer veterans across eight existing initiatives to make risk management tools more affordable, expand access to land and capital, and prioritize training for veterans.

“The bill, if passed by Congress, would expand support to all new veterans who may have existing careers in agriculture. Currently, the USDA’s veteran’s initiatives are designed to support those who are starting a career in agriculture for the first time.”

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