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GROW
a Veteran Farm Academy
within KLD Farms

Hydroponic Sustainable Agriculture
Training and More
Following are photos
of this existing 1 year old hydroponic farm
which gives 80% of its produce to the local community
THE PURPOSE
The purpose of GROW is to help Veterans return to society
by securing meaningful employment in sustainable
agr...
THE GOAL
We will train 12-18 veterans in our first year.
THE NEEDS
Returning Veterans can have physical injuries as well as
hidden injuries which can lead to a cascade of other
tr...
US Dept. of Agriculture has said that the average age of the small
farmer now is 55 so there is a huge and urgent need for...
The majority of produce in our local grocery
stores comes from other countries or far away
regions of the US on trucks, tr...
Sustainable
Agriculture
is necessary
to preserve land
and crops for our
children. Learn
from organizations
like “Sustainab...
The Organization
GROW is a Veteran Farm Academy teaching
hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics and other
farming knowledge a...
Precedent

•Archi's Acres in California is a Veteran

Sustainable Agriculture Training(VSAT) facility
which has 200+ gradu...
Healing Through Horticultural Therapy
Linda Seals, County Extension Director, UF/IFAS
Brevard County states - "Empirical r...
The GROW/KLD Facilities
The site is located on Merritt Island, Florida just south of the
NASA launch sites and North West ...
Classroom Curriculum: Approx 120 hours - 

The UF/IFAS Brevard Extension is our partner
•

Sustainable Agriculture policie...
Onsite Field Training - Approx 120 hours
•Hydroponics
•Aquaponics
•Aeroponics
•Traditional soil farming
Off-Site Training –
Approx 30 Hours
• Visits with local buyers and consumers
• Visits to existing farms of various types i...
Benefits of
GROW Training

•

A local business council can begin the process of
training vets to start their own farm upon...
•

Established GROW farmers can help others to get
started

•

Higher studies in agriculture programs might be
pursued

•
...
•

Greater potential for employment in the field of
farming and supplies.

•

Able to perform marketing for their own vent...
The training that GROW provides qualifies veterans to
help meet the nationwide need for sustainable, locally
grown agricul...
GROW Contact Information
Charles Vensel
Director
321.961.1123
venselc@gmail.com
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture
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GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture

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GROW is a Program for training veterans in hydroponic/aquaponic Sustainable Agricultures with class curriculum designed by partner UF/IFAS(including formulation of a farm business plan), farm field training and community involvement. Hydroponic therapy assists in healing. GROW assists veterans in preparing themselves for a future in the sustainable agriculture industry.

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GROW-Veteran Training in Hydroponic/Aquaponic Sustainable Agriculture

  1. 1. GROW a Veteran Farm Academy within KLD Farms Hydroponic Sustainable Agriculture Training and More
  2. 2. Following are photos of this existing 1 year old hydroponic farm which gives 80% of its produce to the local community
  3. 3. THE PURPOSE The purpose of GROW is to help Veterans return to society by securing meaningful employment in sustainable agriculture. This will enable them to pursue the happiness they served to protect while helping to satisfy our country's needs for sustainable, locally grown agriculture.
  4. 4. THE GOAL We will train 12-18 veterans in our first year.
  5. 5. THE NEEDS Returning Veterans can have physical injuries as well as hidden injuries which can lead to a cascade of other troubles—unemployment, depression, substance abuse, even suicide. Sometimes the existing agencies are not able to offer them the help they need. They deserve help now.
  6. 6. US Dept. of Agriculture has said that the average age of the small farmer now is 55 so there is a huge and urgent need for younger replacement farmers. Veterans are excellent candidates
  7. 7. The majority of produce in our local grocery stores comes from other countries or far away regions of the US on trucks, trains or boats. Wouldn’t you rather protect our natural environment by purchasing locally grown produce?
  8. 8. Sustainable Agriculture is necessary to preserve land and crops for our children. Learn from organizations like “Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education” (SARE) which has been in existence for 25 years.
  9. 9. The Organization GROW is a Veteran Farm Academy teaching hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics and other farming knowledge and skills within KLD Farm, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which grew out of KLD Youth Foundation, established in 2002, whose mission is to change lives by educating and empowering young people, one life at a time. The University of Florida/IFAS Brevard County Extension is a partner.
  10. 10. Precedent •Archi's Acres in California is a Veteran Sustainable Agriculture Training(VSAT) facility which has 200+ graduates and has received national recognition. Veterans Farm in Jacksonville, FL has a successful veteran training program promoting traditional soil farming. Our Veteran Farm Academy in Merritt Island, FL, using the GROW program will continue these successful practices. • •
  11. 11. Healing Through Horticultural Therapy Linda Seals, County Extension Director, UF/IFAS Brevard County states - "Empirical research shows that horticultural therapy provides numerous benefits to people including improved physical, social, psychological, and cognitive abilities. While horticultural therapy has traditionally involved landscape horticulture, hydroponics and aquaponics—both innovative methods used to grow edible crops can be used in horticultural therapy."
  12. 12. The GROW/KLD Facilities The site is located on Merritt Island, Florida just south of the NASA launch sites and North West of the Port of Canaveral. The newly rehabbed facilities are situated on several acres.
  13. 13. Classroom Curriculum: Approx 120 hours -  The UF/IFAS Brevard Extension is our partner • Sustainable Agriculture policies and practices •Computer use in Farming • Use of Solar Energy • Hydroponics • Emergency, safety & maintenance • Aquaponics procedures • Aeroponics • Farm Management • Traditional farming in Florida • Farm Ownership • Management of Different Markets • Business Plan approved by board • Site Selection Factors of local business people
  14. 14. Onsite Field Training - Approx 120 hours •Hydroponics •Aquaponics •Aeroponics •Traditional soil farming
  15. 15. Off-Site Training – Approx 30 Hours • Visits with local buyers and consumers • Visits to existing farms of various types in the area • Introduction to Bee Keeping - visit local bee keepers receive basic instruction • Meet with local community organization & leaders and receive their advice • Horticultural Therapy
  16. 16. Benefits of GROW Training • A local business council can begin the process of training vets to start their own farm upon approval of a Business Plan.  • The training GROW provides in the business aspect of farming prepares Veterans to manage their own business. • They will be better prepared to deal with the business community—lenders, buyers, etc.
  17. 17. • Established GROW farmers can help others to get started • Higher studies in agriculture programs might be pursued •  Greater potential for employment in the field of farming and supplies. Able to perform marketing for their own venture or for others 
  18. 18. • Greater potential for employment in the field of farming and supplies. • Able to perform marketing for their own venture or for others  • Skills in design and consulting could be applied to other ventures • Aquaponics could be a stand-alone, backyard business venture
  19. 19. The training that GROW provides qualifies veterans to help meet the nationwide need for sustainable, locally grown agriculture while developing younger farmers to join the aging farmer population. Veterans experience improved physical and mental health, increased confidence and self respect by building their business and farming skills.
  20. 20. GROW Contact Information Charles Vensel Director 321.961.1123 venselc@gmail.com

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