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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs – today introduced legislation to codify and expand a program that provides veterans with resources and opportunities to pursue careers in the agriculture industry.

Sen. Moran included a provision in the FY2017 Agriculture Appropriations Act to establish a pilot program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – the Food and Agriculture Resilience Program for Military Veterans (AgVets Program) – which has awarded project grants in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia since 2018, offering thousands of transitioning veterans opportunities in agriculture.

The Colonel Gary LaGrange AgVets Act of 2024 would build on the success of this program through continued training and education for veterans to better understand various farm and ranch business operations. 

“Military service instills character and skills in veterans that make them valuable employees across many industries,” said Sen. Moran. “Named in honor of retired U.S. Army Colonel Gary LaGrange, who was instrumental in developing the AgVets pilot program, this legislation makes certain the program continues to help veterans enter the agricultural sector and find meaningful careers in farming and ranching.”

Ret. Colonel Gary LaGrange implemented one of the first AgVets grants in Manhattan, Kansas. He also testified at a 2016 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture hearing.

The Colonel Gary LaGrange AgVets Act of 2024 would:

  • Provide training and classroom education resources for transitioning veterans to explore career opportunities in production agriculture and understand farm and ranch business operations and management practices;
  • Develop or identify curricula that veteran farmers and ranchers can adopt to help manage their enterprises;
  • Develop and implement education, workshops, tours and instructor-supervised field experiences;
  • Support any additional activities, as identified by the Secretary of Agriculture, to increase the number of veterans pursuing knowledge and skills development in agriculture. 

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