Partner Spotlight: Veteran Community Garden
MACV wants to recognize the wonderful partnership between our team in Southern Minnesota and the Veteran Community Garden established by Minnesota State’s Southern Agricultural Center of Excellence. SMCA’s Veterans in Ag initiative offers numerous avenues for engagement with older and younger Vets alike. One of their most recent projects, the Veteran Community Garden, showcases the working relationship between staff members like Program Coordinator Nathan Hanel and MACV Employment Specialist Mark Bullen.
The Garden, a 10×20 foot plot in Mankato by the Loyola school campus, operates in conjunction with South Central College. Mark Bullen explains, “It really reaches two groups. Older Veterans can safely connect during COVID-19 while younger Vets can learn about working in ag.”
Working in agriculture goes way beyond farming. Transportation, food service, farm supplies, and other industries all play a role in the agricultural industry. The Veteran Community Garden serves as an entry point for Veterans who want to learn more about the possibilities awaiting them in the ag sector. Bullen explains, “Trainers have taught courses on natural pest control, we would bring Master Gardeners in to teach about various topics.”
While the garden is open during limited hours, Mark hopes to see them extended soon so that working Veterans can more easily participate in the Garden’s activities. We congratulate the Veterans Garden crew for such a solid beginning and look forward to years of collaboration ahead.