BattleGround to Breaking Ground Overview

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The BattleGround to Breaking Ground Program is a training program geared toward veterans and other new/beginning farmers and ranchers.  The project educates veterans and other new/beginning farmers and ranchers to start or expand their own agriculture business through an agriculture workshop, online coursework, and hands-on training.  The details of each phase is listed below.

  • Phase 1: Introduction to Farm Concepts & Business Planning Course

    The Phase 1 Online Course is encouraged before applying to the Traditional Program but not required.

  • Online Course: New Phase 1 – Battleground to Breaking Ground
    • This online course helps participants understand introductory farm and ranch concepts, business planning, and training programs. It includes a session, conducted with military veteran farmers and ranchers, that provides best practices for navigating barriers to becoming successful agricultural producers. Participants will also view a session about additional training programs.
    • Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be provided with a certificate that can be used to verify training hours in agriculture to enhance their eligibility for agriculture-related funding sources. Successful completion will also increase participant’s chances of submitting a successful application for the tuition waiver for the BattleGround to Breaking Ground Traditional Program.
    • Link to our application/enrollment page
  • In-person Course: Introduction to Agriculture Bootcamp
    • Developed for those with limited agriculture experience, this event will provide participants with knowledge of essential agricultural production concepts and prepare them to create an agriculture business plan.
    • Sessions include hands-on training in:
      • Farm Safety & Food Safety
      • Business Planning & Business Management
      • Diversification & Marketing Strategies
      • Financial & Risk Management
      • Agriculture rehabilitation & vocational training opportunities for veterans
      • Land Management & Conservation Practices including natural resource management
      • Basic Vegetable Production & Row Crop Production
      • Basic Livestock Production
      • Alternative & Value-Added Agriculture Enterprises
      • Link to our application/enrollment page
  • Traditional Program (Includes Phase 2 & Phase 3)

    • Phase 2: Agriculture Business Planning Online Course

      • Operations, Marketing & Financial Planning
      • Networking
      • Introduction to Agritourism Hosting
      • Wrap-around Services: Career Services, Wellness, Farming/Ranching with a Disability, Transition Services, and More
      • Write your Business Plan in 16 weeks!
      • Link to our application/enrollment page
    • Phase 3: Agriculture Production Hands-On Training

      • Must complete Phase 2 at the 17 week checkpoint before beginning Phase 3.
      • 100 Hours of Hands-on Training
      • Mentorship
      • Agriculture Production Courses and Education
      • Agritourism Team Project
      • Link to our application/enrollment page
  • Phase 4: Mentor Training Program

    • Must graduate the Traditional Program or Skills Training Program before beginning Phase 4.
    • Utilizing Adult Education Techniques
    • Managing Farm Safety & Liability
    • Developing Individual Education Plans including Goal Setting
    • Become a Certified BGBG Mentor
    • Link to our application/enrollment page
  • Skills Training Program

    • Designed specifically for transitioning military members using Career Skills Program or DoD SkillBridge, BGBG-STP is a certificate program managed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service that provides education & training for transitioning service members who desire to go into agricultural production. The education provided enables program participants to establish gainful self-employment as an agriculture business manager or owner/operator. Cohorts are 16 weeks in length, and participants will receive training on agriculture business planning & management and agriculture production practices.
    • BGBG-STP is designed specifically for transitioning military members to attend through the SkillBridge program or Career Skills Program (CSP) in their final 180 days in the military. This is open to any rank from all service branches.
    • Link to our application/enrollment page

Graduates of the BattleGround Program receive a Certificate of Completion, increased access to agriculture funding, and an extensive network to support their operations. Certified BGBG Mentors are additionally eligible to receive a stipend to offer hands-on training to current participants.

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