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March 2018


Texas AgrAbility, in partnership with the Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training Project, hosted a farm tour and ag workshop on February 15 and 16 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Farm tourThe farm tour was hosted at two veteran-and-beginning-farmer-owned-and-operated urban farms in Corpus Christi. Jaime Bustos of Terra Madre Mini Farm and Casey Williams of Agricultural Devolution gave tours of their urban farms to over 25 attendees.

Jaime BustosJaime produces specialty vegetables that he sells at the local farmers markets. He utilizes composting and compost teas on his operation. Jaime is shown here explaining the process of making compost tea and how he utilizes the tea in his garden.

Casey WilliamsCasey produces some vegetables along with oyster mushrooms and bees. Casey is pictured with participants, sharing his experience with beekeeping and growing pollinator habitats.

The agriculture business workshop was delivered to over 25 veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers at the Robstown Extension Building on February 17, 2018. USDA NRCS, USDA FSA, Texas Department of Agriculture, Capital Farm Credit, and Farmer Veteran Coalition, were featured along with Texas AgrAbility and Battleground to Breaking Ground. Greg Clary, with the Texas Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, presented on niche markets, rural business ideas, and business planning. Participants were grouped according to their production area and networked with agriculture producers to develop a plan and resources for starting their agriculture business.

Justin Butts, veteran speakerVeteran speaker Justin Butts with Four String Farm in Rockport, Texas, shared his experience being a veteran and transitioning into full-time agriculture. Four String Farm is a pioneer farm near the coast that utilizes a CSA and direct-to-consumer marketing. They produce specialty crops, poultry, and pork through a rotational grazing and growing strategy.

Makenzie McLaurin, program coordinator, attended a Texas A&M AgirLife Extension RPL meeting to give information on Texas AgrAbility. She shared information on the services provided by Texas AgrAbility, how Extension agents work with Texas AgrAbility staff, and the process for referring farmers and ranchers with disabilities, health conditions, and physical limitations.

Erin Kimbrough, Makenzie McLaurin, and Stacey Kingman attended the TexVet Mental Health Symposium in Round Rock, Texas. The symposium, geared toward service providers, featured innovative research and findings on veterans' mental health, TBI, PTSD, and resources for veterans and their families.

Battleground to Breaking Ground Entrepreneurial Training Project applications are open for cohort 3. Applications close on March 18, 2018. The basic training weekend for cohort 3 will be held at Millican Reserve on April 7-8, 2018. This project is a three-phase training project for veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers that includes online business planning courses, production education, and hands-on training with a mentor. Applications can be accessed by clicking here.

Submitted by Makenzie McLaurin