William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Madison VA Awarded Grant to Train Vets in Agriculture
August 3, 2018
The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital was awarded a grant July 27 to create a training program for Veterans interested in working in the Agricultural field.
Using the grant, awarded through the VA Office of Rural Health – Agricultural Training/Behavioral Healthcare Services, the Madison VA aims to increase support for rural Veterans entering or re-entering the workforce in agricultural vocations by partnering with community organizations.
“This grant allows us to provide our Veterans high-quality education, training, therapeutic interventions, on-the-job experiences and Whole Health care, with an emphasis on Mental Health,” said Denise Chapin, Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services (TSES) Program Manager at the Madison VA. “The training program will help revitalize interest and penetration into the agricultural workforce and empower Veterans in rural areas to thrive through whole-health well-being.”
Veterans in the program will receive hands-on training provided by the Madison VA’s TSES in a local agricultural setting, including community-supported agriculture farms, large-scale agribusiness, care farms and other community agricultural organizations, depending on the Veteran’s area of interest. Therapeutic support through the Madison VA’s Mental Health, primary care and Whole Health services is also available.
“We’ve partnered with UW-Madison to support our Veterans, so the training and services will be provided at a combination of the Madison VA, UW-Madison or Madison College, and at various sites in the local community,” said Chapin.
The program consists of two training tracks. The first track is a two-year certificate program through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course, in partnership with the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. The second track is a one-year and one semester technical diploma program through Madison College.
“We’d like to start recruiting interested Veterans right away because the semester starts soon,” said Chapin.
Veterans interested in enrolling in the Madison VA agricultural training program should contact Denise Chapin at (608) 256-1901 x16431, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.