Hoʻōla Farms Receives Grant to Support Veterans Program
A nonprofit farm in Hilo is set to receive federal funding for the next three years to support its program that teaches agriculture to veterans.
Hoʻōla Veteran Services – the nonprofit home of Hoʻōla Farms – received a 3-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) ( USDA) to support their pilot “Bridging the Gap: Growing Veterans” program.
The Hoʻōla program is designed to support entry-level military veterans, ranchers, and their families on the island of Hawaiʻi by providing exposure, skills-based training, and a professional network aimed at helping them succeed in careers. farms, according to a press release from the non-profit organization.
“Over the past few years, we have recognized that one of the barriers to entry for veterans and their families into the agricultural sector is the lack of access to hands-on, exposure-based experiences,” said Emily Emmons, executive director of Hoʻōla Farms. . “This new funding will help us increase the number of veterans seeking and securing opportunities in education, employment and entrepreneurship in the food and agriculture sector on the island of Hawaii. We are thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity to expand and strengthen the network of veterans working in agriculture here.
According to the statement, the farm holds workshops for veterans, their families and civilians to learn more about agriculture. Programs range from one day, “Intro to Grow”, to a more comprehensive four week workshop, “Groundwork to Grow”.
The four-week course focuses on specific agricultural topics relevant to the Pacific region, the statement said. Experts and guest speakers from organizations such as the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), UH-Hilo, USDA, and the US Forest Service will provide additional resources to support participants’ goals.
Hoʻōla Farms will soon be offering scholarships to participate in the pilot program. Those who are interested or want additional information can visit www.hoolafarms.org or call 808-494-2613.
Hoʻōla Farms was one of 140 organizations nationwide to receive funding from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.