Jamaican-born Couple Graduates 26 Florida Veterans From Small Farm & Business Incubator Program
The Jamaican-American-owned North South Institute (NSI) will present its 2022 graduating class of veterans from the Veteran Small Farm & Business Incubator Program, on Saturday, September 24, 2022, 11:00 am, at the Signature Grand, 6900 W. State Rd 84, Davie, FL 33317.
The Veteran Small Farm & Business Incubator Program is an initiative that provides practical training and support to Florida Veterans who are interested in launching their own agribusiness operations or gaining full-time employment in agriculture or allied services like solar-powered systems, nursery and landscaping, golf course operations, small engine and equipment repairs, farm operation, and construction equipment and machinery, digital and social media marketing, and other skills. This project helps veterans access several career paths and employment opportunities by bridging existing skill gaps.
Guest Speaker, Ginger Miller, is a native New Yorker and former homeless service-disabled Navy veteran turned White House Champion of Change for Women Veterans and President and CEO of the Women Veterans Interactive Foundation. In September of 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Ms. Miller to the Board of Governors of the USO and in February of 2021, she was appointed as an Honorary Commander for the 316th Operations Group at Joint Base Andrews.
Dr. Samuel Scott, Director of the North South Institute, stated “It gives me immense pleasure to congratulate our graduates on their successful completion of the AgVets Program, with distinction. The goal this year was to expand the recruitment of veterans by building their capacity and competence in farm operation, marketing and risk management, which will lead to becoming engaged in a career and skill building in allied and farming industries, as well as other small businesses. We see this as promoting agriculture/agribusiness to become the main driver in creating jobs, employment, and investments for those who have given so much to this country. We are honored and humbled to serve our veterans.”
The 2022 graduates represent the 5 & 6th cohort of veterans in this innovative program, created in 2019 by Broward-based North South Institute, with funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/ National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/ AgVets Program. The program targets the underserved veteran population, who are mainly Black and Hispanic and hail from all over the State of Florida from Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville and Tallahassee.
“What I do is reach out to veterans throughout the state of Florida who are looking for a program that will help them launch and enhance their business or just need to find employment opportunities that are rewarding and fulfilling. There is a famous quote ‘never have so many owed so much to so few.” The meaning of this quote embodies each aspect of this program. The graduation rate is very high and the impact on each participant’s life has made me proud to know that we still respect and honor our veterans. To each veteran I thank you for your service”, said Captain William (Bill) Hester, M.S., Veteran Support Case Officer.
Since 2002, the North South Institute has supported the development of veterans in agriculture. Over time it became apparent that because of the discipline acquired during their military service, veterans are more successful in developing their businesses, farms and ranches, consistently outperforming other groups.
For more information visit the AgVet Program website.