Veteran Women for the Land Project Releases Report: Findings Highlight Tangible Recommendations for the Pacific Northwest and Beyond
Washington, D.C. – The Veteran Women for the Land project — a partnership between American Farmland Trust, Farmer Veteran Coalition, Farmer Veteran Coalition-Washington Chapter, Annie’s Project, Rogue Farm Corps, Washington State Department Veterans Affairs, Washington Farmland Trust, Oregon State University Extension Services Small Farms Program, and Insight for Action — released “Veteran Women in Agriculture: A regional needs assessment for the Pacific Northwest”, which provides a synthesis of research to determine how to better serve this community, a group, the study shows, has a diverse set of needs, challenges and opportunities.
Women are growing in prominence in agriculture. Forty-three percent of U.S. farmland – nearly 388 million acres – is now farmed or co-farmed by women. Veteran women bring a unique skill set and, for many, a direct need for healing and connection to agriculture. Agricultural organizations have not served this community adequately in the past, but this is changing.
“AFT is honored to have expanded its Women for the Land work to veteran women with the support of our partners,” said Gabrielle Roesch-McNally PhD, AFT Women for the Land Director. “We are working to serve veteran women farmers and landowners who face specific challenges and barriers in accessing the much needed and now more plentiful resources available to them. We hope this report will help other organizations do the same.”
“While the recommendations contained in this report were informed by local research, they are highly relevant for a broader audience,” said Addie Candib, AFT’s regional director for the Pacific Northwest. “It is our intention that this report serve as a catalyst for nationwide conversations about how we can – collectively – better serve women veterans who farm or who aspire to do so.”
“Farmer Veteran Coalition believes that our nation’s women veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems,” said Isa Marie McIntyre, Army Combat Veteran and Grants Manager for Farmer Veteran Coalition. “We understand that women veterans are a diverse group with a unique set of challenges and needs. Through this project we hope to learn how to address these challenges so that we may better serve women veterans as they embark on a journey to serve their country again by feeding it.”
“There is an urgent need to connect and organize relevant resources and service providers so that we can enhance support for women veterans in farming and ranching. These resources and services also need to be rooted in the unique and diverse needs of this group. Collective action and coordination can address the gaps and barriers to prevent the success of women veterans in farming. There is a lot of work to be done, and this project is moving us in the right direction! I am grateful for the opportunity to participate and look forward to the next phase of bringing women Veterans together to foster a network of support.” – Teagan Moran, Oregon State University Extension, Small Farms Program
Researchers interviewed 23 veterans and technical service providers, focusing on questions related to outreach strategies and programmatic needs of veteran women and their challenges to access resources. An advisory committee of members, interviewees, and other project partners reviewed the results and helped refine recommendations.
Core themes explored in the report include: 1) Veteran women farmers are a diverse group; 2) Intersectional and layered barriers exist for veteran women in agriculture; 3) Outreach to veterans and carefully curated spaces for education and networking are important.
The report includes a discussion of the core themes, illustrative tables with qualitative data examples, and synthesized broader programmatic implications for veteran women in agriculture. Finally, the report lists eleven tangible recommendations that could support improved programming outreach and engagement with veteran women.
Veteran women may sign up to be notified about upcoming opportunities in agriculture and to connect, learn and build community through the Veteran Women for the Land project.
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.
Contact: Lori Sallet, E: firstname.lastname@example.org ● P: (410) 708.5940
Since 2008 Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) has been serving and educating veterans returning from military service wishing to become farmers or ranchers. Now FVC represents over 35,000 veteran farmers and ranchers across the United States. We cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders and develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.
Contact: Isa Marie McIntyre; E: email@example.com; Phone: 530-379-2285
OSU Extension Small Farms Program’s mission is to advance sustainable agriculture, community food systems, and economic progress for Oregon’s small farmers and ranchers. We connect farmers and ranchers to one another, to research-based resources, and to the network of farmers support resources available. We help to explore what is possible and navigate challenges. We are a bridge connecting the farmer community to Oregon State University research and advocate for farmer and rancher needs.
Contact: E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: 541-713-5011
Rogue Farm Corps trains and equips the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and the preservation of Oregon’s farmland. RFC’s farm training programs provide classes, farm tours, and an on-farm immersion in sustainable agriculture. Our Future Farms Program addresses the many interrelated barriers that farmers and ranchers face in accessing land and capital through conferences, workshops, technical assistance, and peer to peer learning. RFC also works collaboratively with partners to facilitate an intentional, equitable intergenerational transfer of farmland.
Contact: Abigail Singer, E: email@example.com; P: 503-381-4889
Insight for Action helps purpose-driven organizations to strengthen their social impact by serving as a learning partner. We support foundations, nonprofits, government agencies, foundations, and multi-sectorial partnerships. We approach social change strategy with an evaluation mindset, a unique combination that allows our clients to become more impactful and effect greater change in their communities. In all that we do, five principles guide our work: equity-focused, systems-oriented, relationship-centered, inquiry-driven, and adaptive.
Contact: Ronda Zakocs, E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: (503) 616-0912
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs fulfills its mission of Serving Those Who Served by connecting veterans and their family members to the benefits and services they earned through their military service. WDVA’s Orting Veterans Farm collaborates with agricultural training partners and veteran-led incubator learning farms across Washington State to support current and aspiring veteran farmers in creating and attaining their agricultural goals.
Contact: Kim Pham, E: email@example.com, P: (360) 870-0729, W: www.dva.wa.gov