field agriculture farm cerealsCHAMPAIGN- Studies have shown 44 percent of the men and women joining the military come from rural areas and may have a farming background.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging returning veterans to take advantage of tools and resources available to help them follow their dreams of starting a farm in Illinois.

“Our veterans have worked diligently to protect our freedoms and keep us safe,” Bennett said. “It’s important for them to know that whether they are new to farming or grew up in a farming community, there are resources available to aid their transition into agribusiness.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently announced an expanded collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense to improve outreach with returning service men and women. The USDA offers a variety of programs including loans, grants, training and technical assistance to veterans interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.

Since 2009, the USDA has provided $438 million in farm loans to help more than 6,482 veterans grow their farming businesses across the country.

For more information, area residents can call Bennett’s full-time constituent office at (217) 355-5252 or visit www.usda.gov/veterans.

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507