Sierra Club Retreat Links Veterans With Sustainable Agriculture
This is a guest blog by Sasha Klein, Program Coordinator for Farmer Veteran Coalition.
This past August, the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) teamed up with the Sierra Club to bring over 15 veterans and their families to Vashon Island, Washington for a weekend of farm visits, kayaking, beach walks and a chance to network with industry professionals, as well one another. Veterans from all eras and from different parts of the Northwest attended the retreat, exploring the intersection of nature and agriculture.
During the three day retreat, participants toured 3 farms, explored the local farmers' market and participated in presentations and discussions by Kia Armstrong of Nash’s Organic Produce and Mark Musick of Tilth Producers. These discussions gave the participants the opportunity to ask questions about production, marketing, beginning operations, etc… and have lively debates about agricultural practices and involvement of veterans in agriculture. Participants also visited three farms which offered participants the opportunity to explore real farming systems and ask the farmers questions about their farming practices.
The retreat was also an opportunity for the participants to
relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Vashon Island. Not only does the Isla
nd have idealic farms and landscapes, but they also offer many ways of enjoying the outdoors. R
etreat participants had the opportuntiy to attend a beach walk with beach naturalists, searching the tide pools and identifying sea life. After the beach walk, participants went sea kayaking and got the chance to enjoy a different view of the coast line.
This retreat was a great opportunity for FVC and the Sierra Club to work together to provide military veterans the chance to spend a weekend exploring career opportunities in agriculture while enjoying the natural beauty of the Northwest.
To get outdoors with the Sierra Club, visit http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/.