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Veteran Opportunities

Our three interlocking programs prepare military veterans for new careers in agriculture.

Choose your level:
The Veteran Farmer Reserve

One weekend a month for 12 months

  • Designed for all levels - from beginners to those already farming

  • Classroom and hands-on cultivation training

  • Farm visits and Business Training 

  • Tractor operation and maintenance 

The Veteran Farm Fellowship

March to November

  • Paid, on-farm apprenticeship 

  • VA On-the-Job Training Approved - use your GI bill housing allowance 

  • Skillbridge & Career Skills Program approved 

  • Full- and part-time 

The Veteran Farm Incubator

Up to 3 Years

  • 1/8 acre farm plot 

  • Supported by Arcadia Farm infrastructure & technical assistance 

  • Open to VFP alumni only 

The Veteran Farmer Reserve

The Veteran Farmer Reserve Program is for those interested in exploring agriculture without committing to a full-time training program. This 12-month program meets one weekend a month, with an additional service learning commitment of 40 hours of hands-on farm work at Arcadia during the training year. Reserve Farmers receive hands-on training at Arcadia’s farm in Alexandria, VA; visit working livestock, greenhouse, organic, and other farms on field trips; and receive classroom instruction on topics ranging from pest control to marketing and farm business planning. Reserve Farmers also complete independent reading, research, and writing assignments. Arcadia Farm Staff instruction is supplemented by professional farmers and extension agents and supported by staff with our project partners. 

The Veteran Farmer Reserve Program is a fee-based program with needs-based scholarships offered to qualified veterans.

2024 Reserve Class: January 2024 to December 2024

2024 Projected Reserve Program Training Dates (please be available for both days, every weekend):
1/27-28; 2/24-25; 3/23-24; 4/27-28; 5/18-19; 6/22-23 or 6/29-30 (tractor training); 7/27-28; 8/24-25; 9/28-29; 10/26-27; 11/23-24; 12/14-15

Tuition: $500 – fee includes breakfast and lunch during monthly training weekends. Full and Partial Scholarships are available. Please do not let the cost prevent you from applying.  

We are now accepting applications to the 2024 class of the Veteran Farmer Reserve which will run from January 2024 through December 2024.


Reliable transportation is required.

The Veteran Farm Fellowship

Learn and explore farming through a flexible, paid experience.

Arcadia offers an immersive training opportunity to learn regenerative, bio-intensive farming. As a fellow, you’ll be learning through on-the-job training, i.e. learning by doing. Arcadia Food Farm cultivates 2.5 acres of vegetable production, 0.5 acre of fruit and berry production, and 1 acre of incubator space…and we do it all off-grid.

Here is some of what we offer:

  • Part-time and full-time positions. We recommend 24 to 32 hours on-farm a week (3 or 4 days) plus occasional weekend responsibilities. 

  • Pay. We pay $15 an hour and offer optional health benefits, and access to vegetables from the farm. You can also access your GI bill-based housing allowance if you qualify for the VA’s OJT (work a minimum of 120 hours per month for a minimum of six months); Arcadia will facilitate that payment.

  • Program options. Spring, summer, fall, or full-season (each season is approximately 3 months) with potential 2nd year fellowship to build on your first-year experience.

  • Education. Engage with farm, health, and business topics. In addition to on-site training, we offer optional online programming and local farm visits through our Farmer Reserve Program.

Our program’s focus is flexibility in building this opportunity with you. Transitioning into farming is more than physical work, it’s a connection to the land and the community around you. There will be many things we have to do but there will also be built-in time to pursue supplemental training opportunities and to practice self-care. Maybe you want to sustainably commute to the farm, schedule doctor’s appointments, see family, take mental health days, visit a farm you know, complete an on-farm project, and more. We’ll check in throughout your fellowship on your goals and make adjustments along the way.

We built this program to be flexible…but also to have specific, on-the-job training content. Here are a few of the training opportunities you’ll experience (season-dependent)):

  • Vegetable farm production. Planning, seeding, irrigating, harvesting, cultivating, etc.

  • Soil care. Cover cropping, no-tillage/low-till, no pesticides, fertility management.

  • Greenhouse and high tunnel operations.

  • Food and nutrition education. Gut health, plant i.d., fermentation, curing/storage.

  • Market experience. Selling produce, meat, etc.

  • Working with regional farmers.

  • Capstone project (optional). Design and complete an on-farm project.

  • Farm maintenance. Tractors, vehicles, infrastructure, tools, etc.

  • Record keeping. Food safety, harvest and distribution, seeding, maintenance, etc.

  • Broiler chickens. Care from chick to full bird.

The Veteran Farmer Incubator 

Arcadia also operates a Veteran Farm Incubator on Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn, in Alexandria, VA that is open to graduates of Arcadia's training programs, and other veterans on a case-by-case basis. Arcadia provides access to land, water for irrigation, shared equipment, and additional shared infrastructure to support the incubator farmers as they launch their new farm businesses.

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