DUFFIELD, Va. – Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD), has launched a fundraising campaign to support Veterans pursuing careers in agricultural production and self-sustainability through farming. As part of the campaign, a video featuring Veteran farmer, Trevor Hansard was made. To view the video and donate from now to November 1, 2022, individuals should visit: www.asdevelop.org/veterans. Hansard, a 13-year Veteran of the United States Air Force, moved to southwest Virginia to pursue his dream of owning and operating a sustainable farm. He has participated in several ASD programs and is well on his way to achieving his goals.
Funds raised will provide Veteran farmers in the following ways: admission to conferences for Veteran farmers to gain more knowledge, skills and networking; advertising for Veteran farms that are in good standing as an operating business; cultivating and farming equipment – shovels, rakes, spades, building materials, mechanical equipment, etc.; admission fees paid for Veterans attending the SWVA Field School and other farmer education programs offered by ASD; software and technology equipment for Veteran farmers to maintain their expenses and reports; site visits and technical support for Veteran farms and more!
Michael Klarman, a Veteran of the United States Marines and ASD’s Veteran Outreach Coordinator explains, “ASD does a phenomenal job in pairing our educational programs to Veterans’ specific needs in learning agricultural practices while striving to become self-sustaining on their land. The Veteran program is meeting the direct needs of all Veterans. Our next step is to secure additional financial support to directly support this program’s expansion. We strive to offer educational, networking and financial growth opportunities in agriculture to all those who aspire to create a viable farming career, but especially to the brave men and women who have served our country.” Questions should be directed to Michael Klarman: Mklarman@asdevelop.org.
About ASD’s Veteran Program
In 2021, Veteran Outreach and Support efforts were initiated through a wave of Agriculture Education programs to position Veteran farmers (at various levels of experience) for success. Since then, Veterans have participated in merging conservation and production of their land and they have also been connected with mentors in ASD’s Farmer and Rancher Mentoring program, the SWVA Field School, and the Grow Your Own program. ASD’s Veteran Outreach and Support efforts are continuously growing and so are the needs of Veterans served. In 2020, Appalachian Sustainable Development received funding from the USDA Office of Partnership and Public Engagement that allows us to expand all of our programming to reach the military Veteran community.
About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)
Living Better. Locally. It’s what drives ASD’s commitment to propel its mission to build a thriving regional food and agriculture system that creates healthy communities, respects the planet, and cultivates profitable opportunities for Appalachians. Since 1995, ASD has been working in Central Appalachia, providing hope, and making a difference for the people who call the region home. What began as opportunities for struggling tobacco farmers to grow fruits and vegetables have become lasting solutions to regional challenges that impact economic development, workforce development, food access, health, and wellness. Over the years, ASD has expanded its reach from northeast TN and southwest VA to include partners in WV, OH and KY, enabling the organization to bring resources back to the region. For more information, visit: https://asdevelop.org.
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