From Seed to Table: Military Veteran Training for Sustainable Urban Farming Initiatives

As a coalition, the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC)—an academic research institution on the forefront of some of the most important research happening across the country and the world, and the Veterans Community Project (VCP)—a non-profit organization focused on ending military veteran homelessness, have created a sustainable urban agriculture beginning farmer program with specific focus on the military veteran population in Kansas City.

Our project has three main objectives:

(1) Recruit and retain 50 military veteran beginning farmers;

(2) Transition at least 50% of MVBF to agricultural or farm-STEM part- or full-time employment opportunities; and

(3) Develop a veteran, urban, organic, and sustainable-focused pilot program that can be replicated at future VCP site locations by guaranteeing a market for specialty crops.

Our coalition will focus on supporting veterans through employment, education, and entrepreneurship initiatives. Utilizing three, 20-foot independent model container farms at VCP Headquarters, military veterans will be recruited, selected, and trained on container farm processes, hydroponic systems, technological innovations for increased specialty crop production (farm-STEM training), as well as receive financial, marketing, and entrepreneurship certificate training. Our overarching coalition goal is establish a pathway to economic viability and independence for America’s heroes through this pilot program.


We thank the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (USDA, Grant No. 2021-70033-35713), the Missouri Institute for Defense & Energy (MIDE), and the UMKC Entrepreneurship and Innovation Grant Program for their outstanding support of this project.