Purdue offers military vets opportunity to tour farm, learn about ag careers

July 14, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Current and former military members interested in starting a farm or improving practices on an existing farm are invited to a breakfast workshop and tour of a veteran-owned farm as part of Purdue University’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher program.

The event is set for Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in North Salem. It begins with the breakfast session at the Eel River Community Center, 6 S. Main St., where experts will discuss financial support programs for farmer veterans, including federal grants and loans.

Participants will then have a chance to tour the Blue Yonder Organic Farm, 5262 N. state Route 75, and speak with owner Sara Creech, a former Air Force member who raises pastured chickens, turkeys, ducks and sheep as well as organic fruits and vegetables.

“There has certainly been a movement of military veterans coming out of the service and pursuing careers in agriculture,” said Cindra Chastain, farmer veteran AgrAbility coordinator at Purdue.

Chastain said nearly half of all military veterans - 45 percent - come from rural areas.

“We hope to create a network of farmer veterans who can interact and learn from each other,” she said. “Farming or an agricultural career is a viable option.”

There is no charge for the workshop and tour, but registration is required and space is limited.

To sign up, go to https://edustore.purdue.edu/wk_group.asp?wk_group=BeginFarmer.

For more information, contact Chastain at 765-496-2377, or chastain1@purdue.edu.

Purdue’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is designed to increase the number of farm start-ups in the state and provide direct, practical assistance to anyone who is new to farming, especially operators of small farms and military veterans. 

Writer: Darrin Pack, 765-494-8415, dpack@purdue.edu 

Source: Cindra Chastain, 765-496-2377, chastai1@purdue.edu   

Note to online editors: A link to a video clip of Sara Creech discussing the upcoming tour of Blue Yonder Farm as part of Purdue’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher program is at the bottom of this news release. The video can be embedded in your website.       


A link to the video clip of Sara Creech discussing the upcoming tour of Blue Yonder Farm as part of Purdue’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher program is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGM3tV2z1S4&feature=youtu.be 

EMBED CODE: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bGM3tV2z1S4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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