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:
1. 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.
2. Veteran Farmer Training Program
Our Veteran Farmer Training Program offers tailored, flexible, two-to-four month training in organic farming, that includes a stipend and housing allowance. This program targets the needs of those veterans who are interested in organic agriculture, but are not sure if they want to make a career change into agriculture. This training occurs at Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA with two training sessions in April to June and July to September. This initiative between St. Luke’s University Health Network and Rodale Institute is forging a novel model that embodies the Institute’s core equation: healthy soil=healthy food=healthy people. Those veterans interested in this flexible program should fill out an application and submit the application and resume to Lyndsey Antanitis via mail or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supported by Newman's Own Foundation
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 also served as a Staff Sergeant in the Unites States Air Force where she worked as a Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Technician 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."