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Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project-
www.troopstotractors.org
pavetsfarm@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/PAVetsFarm/
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724-691-1087 
In this issue:  $1000 Women Veterans' Grant deadline Monday; Angora goats on small acreage, Beekeeping in Allegheny County, USDA FAQs, Boots to Business; workshops.
The Skirted Soldier logoWomen Veteran Farmers in PA:  apply for our $1000 minigrant by cob Monday, February 10th. Sponsored by The Skirted Soldier. 

See website for full guidelines. 
Bee Bootcamp: Beekeeping Basics for Veterans, Allegheny County PA
Bee Bootcamp logo in green, black, gold
Hosted by Forever Heart Apiary LLC
 
Info and register here
Learn about beekeeping and honey production at 
Bee Bootcamp, a comprehensive nine-month training program that will provide you the basic knowledge to establish and maintain a beehive, offered at no cost to eligible veterans.

Learn through a combination of online lecture with Michigan State University's Heroes to Hives coursework, and gain hands-on, practical experience managing bee hives from March to October, 2020 at the apiary near Pittsburgh.

Up to 10 veterans will be selected for Bee Bootcamp, meeting in person 2 Saturdays per month for  hands-on experience at Forever Heart Apiary, 1345 Coraopolis Heights Rd, Moon, PA 15108, Allegheny County PA.

Angora goat and kidGlen Cauffmann farm in Millerstown, Perry County, is hiring for their high-end Angora goat farm, which produces wool for Pure American Naturals. Glen employs a PANG spouse at farm and mentors her 'volunteer shepherd' soldier. He has  also offered to provide (at no cost) education on husbandry, marketing, agronomy, and management for veterans interested in raising Angora goats on their small acreage (5 acres or more).  Contact him for employment or mentoring at (717) 580-1416 or glen@pureamericannaturals.com    More info here.

 

Learning Opportunities


Wednesday, February 19: Northern Tier Dairy Discussion Group Meeting

Thursday, February 25, Ligonier, Westmoreland Co., "Keeping Farmers on the Land"
Learn the 'why' and 'how' of preserved farms, Ag Security areas, Solar on the farm, more.
9 am to 2 pm; $5 includes breakfast and lunch; register by February 19 Flyer  Registration
Questions? Call 724-238-7560, ext 1 or susan@loyalwater.com

PA  Veteran Farming Project logo in green and grayFriday, February 28, 8:30-4: PA Veteran Farming Conference: Growing your Farm or Agribusiness
PA Military Museum--Boalsburg, Centre County.
$15 
USDA programs for veterans, marketing, risk management, agritourism considerations, business planning skills  and more. Seating is very limited; register today. 


Hydroponics & Aquaponics Workshop Series for Veterans/Military, Brownsville, Washington Co. Every Monday, 6pm-8pm, March 2nd, 2020 through May 4th, 2020

Thursday, March 5 and 12,  6-9 p.m.: Ag Erosion and Sedimentation Plan Workshop 
Both sessions are required; Fayette County Fairgrounds
Participants will create their own Ag Erosion and Sedimentation Plan, and a  farm map and  crop rotation plan to satisfy regulations. Free; registration  required by Feb. 27: email Dan Griffith at dan@wcdpa.com
or call 724-837-5271 option 2.Please provide your farm address when you registering.

Save the Date in white on a camo backgroundSave the date: Wednesday, May 13, Morning half-day workshop: Horn Farm Center York  PA
Field walks: Improve you soil health to improve your bottom line; Financial programs for planting trees as buffers to keep water clean. Following the workshops, meet 1-on-1 with USDA staff to discuss financing, and technical assistance for your farm.  
FAQs for USDA programs
  1. What are the minimums to qualify for NRCS technical assistance as a "farm"? There is no minimum acreage required, but you must file a schedule F showing at least $1000 income in the last year.
  2. Do veterans get preference for programs like loans, or cost incentives for high tunnel projects?  The latest US Farm Bill specifically clarifies the availability of USDA programs for those farmers or ranchers who have served in the  U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Reserves, who have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years OR or who first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-years rates. This refers to down payment loans, reduced interest rates on guaranteed loans, disaster assistance coverage, and federal crop insurance. (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11093.pdf
We gratefully acknowledge the support of  the USDA 2501 Program and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 8  (Pittsburgh). We serve AD, Guard, Reserve, and their spouses;  we have adopted the VA definition of veteran eligibility. Information in this newsletter and on our website is for informational purposes only. Please complete due diligence before entering into any legal or financial agreements.  We do not share your email address with anyone.
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