The University of Missouri Extension has openings available for a free workshop to assist rookie farmers and ranchers in learning about the resources offered by state and federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The MU Extension offers the program to help beginning farmers plan to establish themselves through a USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach grant intended to help military veterans and socially disadvantaged people who want to farm.
"Understanding the ABCs of USDA Programs" will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and a session designed for military veterans will be 2:30-4 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Eldon Community Center, 309 E. Second St.
The program is offered near military bases and areas identified by the USDA as "StrikeForce" and "Promise Zone" initiatives as part of the grant.
Representatives of Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, MU Extension and the Missouri AgrAbility Project are scheduled to offer information on how to take advantage of services. Participants will attend seminars to learn from MU Extension specialists, farmers and agribusiness operators.
The program is directed by Karen Funkenbusch, who serves as the Extension's rural safety and health specialist and agricultural systems management instructor. She said the grant to fund the program came at a critical time because more than 300,000 veterans are expected to return to rural Missouri in the next 10 years.
"Many of them will seek work in agriculture," Funkenbusch said.
To register, contact Barrett at 573-369-2394 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is also available at the MU Extension Center in Miller County, 134 Second St., P.O. Box 20 in Tuscumbia.
The deadline to register is Jan. 22.