The Veterans’ Farming Education And Training, (FEAT) farm, located in Coryell County, Texas, is owned and operated by the Compatible Lands Foundation. Since 2019, it has been the training site for the Battle Ground to Breaking Ground (BGBG) project led by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, in partnership with CLF. BGBG is an entrepreneurial training program for veterans, active-duty military members, and others interested in starting an agricultural career or expanding an existing agricultural enterprise.
At 72 acres, the land and facilities provide the perfect venue where a diverse set of topics, from business planning to agriculture production, are taught to students through a mix of hands-on training and web education. While delivering knowledge to individuals interested in agriculture, the BGBG project also seeks to reduce the unemployment rates of veterans transitioning from military service into civilian life by providing alternate employment options with tailored, hands-on training to support success.
This innovative partnership between CLF and Texas A&M AgriLife is supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), and the U.S. Department of Defense, with additional support from the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
The work at FEAT Farm aligns with the larger mission of Compatible Lands Foundation. Since 2009, CLF has worked tirelessly to promote the conservation, restoration, and preservation of land and natural resources and to foster compatible land uses among private and public landowners. “Supporting current and future generations who want to engage in farming and ranching is fundamental to conservation of working landscapes,” says Robert Gregory, Executive Director of CLF.
For more information about the BGBG program and how to apply, go to https://txagrability.tamu.edu/bgbg/. Applications are opened up twice a year in June and October to fill cohorts. Participation is capped at 45 participants per session, with 15 tuition waived slots per cohort for active duty and military veterans.