From Warriors to Farmers
Training for Veterans
Our nation has a long history of welcoming our troops home and bringing them back into a life where they can work and study out of harm’s way. This unique 2,000-hour training program is designed and offered only to military Veterans. With federal funding from the USDA, qualifying Veterans can earn a full scholarship and stipend to train as a farmer at Hope Farms.
Training comprises a 40-hour per week schedule and is designed to be completed in twelve months. New cohorts are welcomed quarterly through the year, with start dates in May, August, November and January. The training stipend is $13/hour with merit-based incentives that can add up to equivalent of $17/hour. Graduates of the program may qualify for the Hope Farms business incubator program, offering advice and support in land acquisition, growing crops, small business management, as well as access to our supplies and equipment co-op, helping to market and distribute crops. If you are ready for the challenge and satisfaction of growing and providing nutritious food to our community.
What can you expect from training and after?
Key Areas of Study
- Learn how to utilize small scale, intensive organic growing methods to maximize and optimize production of fruits and vegetables on the urban farm. Houston’s year round growing season offers the opportunity to grow a large array of diverse crops utilizing a variety of growing methods.
- Understand and experience the rhythms of a year-round diversified vegetable farm, including planting; cultivation; pest, disease and weed management; irrigation; compost systems; harvest and post-harvest handling; quality control; sales and distribution.
- Learn operational aspects of running an on-site farm stand, CSA program, restaurant and farmers’ market sales and deliveries, in addition to community markets utilizing the mobile Rolling Green Market.
- Learn about managing poultry for egg production and bee hives for honey production, in addition to general ecosystem benefits.
Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills
In partnership with University of Houston Downtown, in addition to on-site classes provided by members of the Recipe for Success Foundation and visiting guest lecturers, trainees gain critical business skills and knowledge required to launch and manage a farm business of their own or work in an agriculture related career.
- fundamentals of small business management
- record keeping
- marketing, social media, promotion and advertising
- financial literacy
What’s Next for Trained Farmers?
If they want to become agri-prenuers and are qualified by successful program participation, the Recipe for Success Team will help veterans launch their new farm during the final quarter of training, then incubate their new enterprises with advice and counsel, continuing education, access to equipment, co-op branding and distribution of products throughout the city to premium and wholesale buyers, CSA members, farm-to-school programs and farmers markets.
Or, if our newly trained farmers prefer to delay starting their own businesses, we will help match them to well-paying jobs in agriculture or food distribution network.
Training is not limited to adults ready to jump start a new business, we have Introductory Classes along with Intern programs for youth and young adults to give them a good look at what the farm business is all about.