Veterans in Ag: Frank Esposito and William Vaughan


Meet the veterans working at Rodale Institute this summer to gain more knowledge in organic agriculture.

Frank Esposito is a Navy veteran from New Jersey. Frank joined the Navy and was stationed in Scotland for three years as a submarine repairman, after high school. Growing up, Frank’s mother was a big fan of Rodale’s publishings, prompting Frank to take the horticulture program at his local vo-tech high school.

After exiting the Navy, Frank returned to New Jersey with his wife and child. Years later, Frank moved to Kutztown, PA and immediately fell in love with the farms and rolling hills. He remembered his mother reading the Rodale publishings and visited Rodale Institute, where he volunteered and later discovered the Veteran Farmer Training Program.

Frank  has returned to his passion with the Veteran Farming Training Program, where he can expand his knowledge and learn methods of organic farming that will improve his own techniques. After completing the program, Frank wants perfect his garden; this includes plans to create his own greenhouse and later purchase property where he can grow more produce and possibly expand and grow fruits and nuts to be sold locally.

Billy Vaughan is a retired Marine officer from Warm Springs, Arkansas. With 21 years of service in the Marine Corps, he participated in seven deployments and three combat tours as a certified Ranger, Airborne, and was a formal instructor for five years. After spending over two decades in a an environment focused on war and destruction, Billy decided to focus on the healing and restoration of the land and people.

With this new mission in mind, Billy and his wife purchased 66 acres of farmland in northeast Arkansas and established The Sanctuary Farm & Rest House, a non-profit rehabilitation farm for others in need. The Sanctuary Farm & Rest House’s mission is to provide a haven for people, habitat for creation, and hope for recovery.

By growing food, caring for the land and animals in sustainable ways, and working with their hands, participants will be given the opportunity to renew their minds and create a different perspective on the world and our food system. Billy joined the Veteran Farmer Training Program to learn how to manage his farm and establish the foundation that his non-profit organization can thrive off of. Being a veteran, Billy also wants to open his services to other veterans as well, and offer them the same experience and teachings that Billy has received at the Rodale Institute as a member of the Veteran Farmer Training Program.

Join the Ranks of Organic Farmers!

Keep serving your community.

Come work and learn at Rodale Institute, a 333 acre organic research and education farm, with the Veteran Farmer Training Program. Be a part the growing movement that is organic agriculture and help provide healthy, safe food for your community.

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