Hope Farms celebrated Veterans Day 2016 with the announcement of a new workforce development scholarship for U.S Veterans interested in pursuing a career in urban agriculture. Our Veteran Farmer Training Scholaraships are designed to empower a new battalion of urban agriprenuers.
The scholarships, funded by United Healthcare Foundation, provide a twelve-month Hope Farmer Training Program, which includes full-time wages, hands-on classes in horticulture, the business of growing and distribution of produce, as well as college level coursework in financial literacy, accounting, banking and business planning. Members of the Houston business community will mentor the trainees, who will also benefit from specially curated course work at Houston Community College and University of Houston in a well-rounded workforce development program designed to foster entrepreneurship.
Two U.S. Veterans will be awarded the scholarship in early 2017. The Foundation will gradually increase the number of annual awards to Veterans to a total of eight by 2019. Applications for the scholarship are being accepted here: http://recipe4success.org/programs/hope-farms.html through December 31, 2016.
Houston is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country, and the Hope Farmer Training Program is a unique tool for empowerment and change. Research shows that Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress respond well to working in agriculture. Recipe for Success Foundation has built a coalition of support for the program with the Mission Continues, the Lone Star Veterans Association, Mental Health America - Veteran Outreach, Houston's Department of Veteran Affairs and Goodwill Veteran Employment Services among others. By transforming retired warriors into a battalion of new urban agripreneurs, the Foundation seeks to help solve the problem of equitable access to affordable, fresh produce in the city's poorest neighborhoods.
"We are particularly excited to provide the space for Vets to continue to serve their community in an environment that is conducive to their recovery from post-war stress," says Gracie Cavnar-founder of Recipe for Success Foundation, which developed and operates Hope Farms.