We recognized Archi's Acres as an organization we wanted to support when we first heard about their Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program in 2015. VSAT, in conjunction with Cal Poly Pomona, provides military veterans with training in the methods of sustainable and organic agriculture and exposes them to entrepreneurial opportunities.
We have donated to them ever since. In 2017 the Simply Organic Giving Fund is providing $20,000 in scholarships for veterans to attend Archi's Acres intensive six-week VSAT training course. Veterans learn hydro-organic technology, greenhouse management and business skills so they can tap into the growing opportunities of sustainable agriculture.
The program — which has over 200 graduates so far — assists with job placement and business creation after classes end.
One of our first scholarship recipients wrote two months after graduating from the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program to tell us his professional life had been transformed — he had a rewarding job with an agricultural company and was working toward launching his own farm operation.
"I was a casual vegetable gardener to combat the hours I spent in a cubicle in my first job after I left the Army. After being laid off in 2014, I discovered VSAT and it has launched me into a new career and provided options that would not have been available otherwise."
We're glad to support Archi's Acres in their mission to — in the words of co-founder Colin Archipley — "help military veterans occupy the civilian sector."