Working with our heroes to create opportunities in the organic industry
Veterans returning to the United States from active duty face many challenges. The Department of Labor reports that as of May 2010, over 20 percent of young veterans are unemployed. Moreover, recent data show that 45 percent of armed service members are from rural America.
The agricultural industry is a logical solution to fill the economic gap veterans face. Rodale Institute is committed to assisting veterans to start or continue farming and ranching operations in order to strengthen the American economy and provide livelihoods to our returning veterans.
Rodale Institute helps our veterans transition into careers within the organic industry through several programs:
Veteran Farmer Training Program
* New focused internship options for the 2018 season.
* Spacing is limited and highly competitive, applicants are encouraged to apply early.
Our Veteran Farmer Training Program is open to any honorably discharged, military veteran who is passionate about learning about organic agriculture. This is also a great opportunity for veterans currently in college to be able to work outside, in a community setting, with like minded individuals over the summer. With the start of the 2018 season we are able to offer two paths in the program; a Focused Internship or General Internship. This enables us to better meet the needs of veterans applying to the program. With both paths veterans have access to farm field trips, webinars, workshops, speaking engagements and on-farm resources.
The Focused Internship tract allows veterans to participate in one of two different programs: Agriculture Supported Community Internship or Livestock Internship. Veterans who are accepted into the internships will have access to onsite housing, receive a weekly stipend and work with other interns in that program. Each program has its own requirements, we encourage veterans who are interested in any of the programs to click on the links and research which program will best meet their needs.
Our General Internship is a flexible, two month training in organic farming, that includes a stipend and housing allowance. Please note, housing is NOT provided with the General Internship, hence the housing allowance. This program targets the needs of veterans who are interested in learning about organic agriculture, by providing providing numerous focuses over a few short weeks; livestock, vegetable production, apiary etc. This program is ideal for veterans who are wanting to learn a little about many different fields in organic agriculture. The program is split into two training sessions: April to June and July to September. See below for just some of the tasks you will be preforming in the different sessions.
April to June
July to September
Tractor Training (July)
Supported by Newman's Own Foundation
Organic Farming Certificate Program
Delaware Valley University (Del Val) and Rodale Institute have created a 36-credit certificate program focused on organic agriculture. The one-year curriculum combines classroom courses on animal science, marketing, vegetable production, organic crop science, entomology, weed management and sustainable agriculture during the spring and fall semesters on the Del Val campus. The summer semester is spent at Rodale Institute. This program is open to all students, but was created with military veterans in mind. DelVal is a yellow-ribbon school and veteran students are able to utilize their GI bill towards tuition and will also receive a housing allowance through the VA while attending classes. Click Here to Apply.
There exist a variety of volunteer opportunities at Rodale that address short-term training opportunities. Those interested in a short-term training opportunity are encouraged to join our list of volunteers and come out to the farm and learn about organic agriculture. Learn more here.
Meet Our Veteran Farmer Program Coordinator
Lyndsey Antanitis oversees interns, curriculum and all resources involved in the Delaware Valley University Organic Farming Certificate Program and the Veteran Farmer Training Program. A recent graduate from both, she is able to channel her knowledge into her passion, which is educating and providing opportunities for others within organic agriculture. As a Pennsylvania native, she appreciates the opportunity to better the land and people she grew up with.
Lyndsey served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force where she worked as a Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Technician at Eglin AFB, for five years. Through three deployments, being selected for a Critical Care Air Transport Team, acquiring a B.S. in Health Sciences and training doctors, nurses and medical technicians, her love for helping others has only grown. She recognizes that organic agricultural practices allow us to take ownership of our health by implementing standard preventative health measures. Fueling her work is Rodale's motto of "Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People."