WACO, Texas (FOX 44/KWKT) — As many communities across the nation look for our next generation of farmers, you don’t have to look very far!
According to the Farmer Veteran Coalition, veterans are the perfect candidate to fill the role. Planting its roots in the downtown Waco area, the Farmer Veteran Coalition aims to help veterans transition to a career in the agriculture sector.
Chief Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo shares why this 15-year strong initiative appeals to a veterans quality of life.
“There [were] veterans coming back home that needed to find their new purpose for their next mission in life and farming. We help fill that, because when you’re in the military, you have that mission-driven attitude. So when you over that, you get an obstacle and you figure out how to overcome it,” says Lombardo.
She also adds the demand for farmers is at an all-time high.
“A lot of people are retiring out of the agricultural sector. The average age of farmers is very high and we needed new farmers and ranchers to replace them,” says Lombardo.
Members of The Heart of Texas Veterans One Stop in Waco are excited to collaborate with the Coalition, as this means more opportunities for veterans to come.
“At the One Stop, we do have a lot of other collaborative partners. And so, this is one that I feel like is going to be a good collaboration for individuals that are looking to be farmers, or at least going to ag[riculture]. So I’m really looking forward to that,” shares Veteran Service Officer Steve Hernandez.
Hernandez believes this opportunity will benefit veterans in more ways than one.
“Veterans also have a lot of disabilities and some other service related issues that could really help in transitioning them back into society so that they can be better utilized. Any potential opportunities that they have because of those disabilities,” says Hernandez.