Sacramento, California - The USDA has announced a joint agreement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to increase employment opportunities in the agricultural sector for military veterans and their spouses.

The agreement establishes a new partnership between USDA and Hiring Our Heroes, a program that helps military veterans, transitioning active duty personnel, and their spouses and partners with training and opportunities to find meaningful employment when entering the civilian workforce.

Since 2009, USDA has provided $466.8 million in farm loans to help more than 6,868 veterans purchase farmland, buy equipment, and make repairs and upgrades. Microloans offering smaller amounts of support to meet the needs of small or niche-type farm operations have also grown in popularity among veterans. Since it was launched in January 2013, USDA’s microloan program has provided more than $25.8 million in support to help veterans grow their farming businesses.

Recently, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) also expanded its collaboration with the Department of Defense to better reach the nearly 200,000 service members transitioning from military service to civilian life each year. Through a career training and counseling program, called the Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, USDA provides information on a wide variety of loans, grants, training and technical assistance available for veterans who are passionate about a career in agriculture.

For more information on how USDA can help military veterans transition into agriculture as a career, visit