Meet the Next Generation of Farmers: The Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reserve!

From left to right: Bruce, Tom, Evans, Tor, Laron, Erica, Training Director Anita, Allison,Clifton,Kat and Chuck

Arcadia is delighted to introduce you to our first class of Veteran Farmer Reservists! These marvelous people are training on Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn-Pope-Leighey throughout the year for new careers in agriculture. They came to us from all four services -- the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy -- and all stages of their careers -- retired, reserve, and transitioning out of active duty. 

We spent last weekend with them knee deep in snow on our farm and hunkering down over spreadsheets and crop plans inside Woodlawn mansion. It is the first of 12 intensive weekend workshops where our trainees will get a deep dive into the world of sustainable farming -- from starting seeds and cultivation and irrigation to running a successful farm business. Right now they are doing their homework: figuring out the budget and crop plan for a hypothetical 50-member CSA that does two drops a week. Most weekends include visits to farms in the region to investigate the full range of business models open to them, and to hear from farmers -- many veterans themselves -- about the challenges and rewards of the work.

Training Director Anita Adalja discusses plans for the expanded farm fields at Woodlawn-Pope-Leighy, two more acres of sustainably grown veggies this season and 18 more to play with as we grow! 

   Our veteran Reservists will also join us for two weeks of on-farm work during the growing season to get a feel for the demanding day-to-day rhythms of farming. We're more than sure they a
re up to it. As one veteran explained: "I was in Fallujah for six months in 130 degree heat wearing 50 lbs of armor. I think I can manage."
Laron, Erica, Clifton, Bruce, Evans on the farm. JuJu snuck in, too.

The weekend was full of great discussion, high spirits, great food from our Culinary Educator JuJu Harris, and the git-er-done attitude that characterizes so many who have served in the military. Plus, they cleaned our farm tools. Oh, and they also vacuumed the Underwood Room in which we convened. And they did the dishes.  
Anita responds to a question from Alliy in the Underwood Room. It is named after Oscar Underwood, a Woodlawn resident whom John F. Kennedy wrote about in "Profiles in Courage."
"House of Cards"' Frank Underwood is named after Oscar, but he is a very different kind of cat.

The Veteran Reserve program is a mix of hands-on farm work, classroom training, and farm visits. Here, Gary Matteson of the Farm Credit Council and Farmer Veteran Coalition talks about farm finances.  
In no particular order, please say hello to the first Arcadia Veteran Farmer Reservists! 

Tor Peery has been in Virginia for the last four years, but originally hails from Upstate New York. He is a Marine Corps Infantry Officer, with over 8 years of active duty service. During that time he has deployed as an Assistant UN Food Distribution Position Security Commander with Battalion Landing Team - 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines (3/2), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to Haiti in support of (ISO) Operation Unified Response; as a Team Commander with the Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group to the Republic of Georgia ISO of the Georgia Deployment Program-International Security Assistance Force; as 3rd Platoon Commander, Kilo Company, 3/2 to Musa Qala, Helmand Province, Afghanistan ISO Operation Enduring Freedom; and was selected to be an Instructor at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.
He wants to learn how to farm because it’s in his blood. He grew up on a non-functional farm surrounded by nothing but rich fields filled with everything from corn to cattle. When he was younger he worked on neighbors’ farms and I hated it; he dreamt of the day when he could one day get out of his small town and see the rest of the world. But as he saw more of the world he began to miss the country life. He quickly realized it wasn’t the farming he hated; it was that he farmed someone else’s land for their benefit and had to follow their rules and practices, even if he himself didn’t believe in them. The road to recovery following his combat related injuries has been long and difficult, but the saving grace has been his wife and son. He wants to give them the life that they deserve, one that he didn’t have when he was young. It was for that reason that he and his wife decided to move back to her family’s farm in Upstate NY. In addition to his family, it is the farm that has given him hope; it reinvigorates and rejuvenates him in more ways than can ever be described; more than any type of treatment ever could or probably ever will. He is also learning how to be a bladesmith, artistic blacksmith and play the baritone ukulele (because it takes a big man to play a little guitar!).

 Allison Mulligan (she prefers Alliy) grew up in Dayton, Ohio after moving there from the New York/New Jersey area. A navy veteran, was stationed in sunny San Diego, California for 4 years. Spent her tour on an Amphibious Assault Ship (USS Pearl Harbor LSD-52) and a Guided Missile Destroyer (USS Decatur DDG-73) as a Boatswain's Mate, one of the oldest rates in the navy. All of her deployments were to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Her favorite memory were being in charge of flight operations. After her discharge, Alliy went on to attend culinary school where she gained a better appreciation for food. What attracted her to this program is the opportunity to be trained in a job that not many people do any more or recognize the importance of it. Alliy's favorite veggie? BEETS! She loves the fact that they are naturally sweet and very versatile; from pasta, to chips, to even drinks, the possibilities are endless! This girl has a sweet tooth so she does enjoy baking. She also has a smile that can brighten the room!

My name is Evans Kofi Appiah, I am from Alexandria, Virginia, but I originally come from Ghana. I joined the Army about six years ago and I am an honorably discharged US Army Sergeant.  
My first duty station was Fort Riley Kansas, where I deployed to Iraq in 2010 for 12 months. My military occupation specialty was a Utility Equipment Repairer, and my goal was to do ten years in the Army. As my long term goal, I also wanted to get a Bachelor’s Degree and buy a house before getting out of the Army. Getting out of the Army after five years was not something I anticipated. My ten- year plan that I had scheduled was affected when I got hurt. I started thinking of what benefits I could use to adjust to civilian life when I finally separated. I was not sure if my skills could translate into a civilian job, and I was deeply concerned about how my family needs would be met without a new skill. In my search for a new skill, a manager at Veterans Curation Program informed me about Arcadia, and I jumped at this opportunity to learn a new skill and restore my dream of being my own boss. I had a keen interest in farming as a kid and I loved to plant my favorite vegetable, tomatoes, because it formed the base of every food I liked. As an adult, my ultimate goal is to feed the world and retire on a farm.

Chuck Christianson is Maryland born and raised. He has devoted the last 35 years to service in the United States Army on both active duty and reserve status. His active duty career has been almost entirely within Special Operations. He has supervised and led military units at home and abroad on multiple real world missions during peacetime and wartime. The last 5 years of service has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda . This is where Chuck excelled with some of the most unique challenges of his career. Serving as a liaison and advocating for the wounded, ill and injured of the Special Operations Community and their families. Building relationships and networks between the patients, medical staff, administrators, charities and commanders in order to serve and achieve the best possible outcome for all. Chuck is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys spending time hiking and biking when away from work. His goal is to transition into sustainable organic community-based farming. Additionally, to include a program for veterans would be the best of both his desire to serve and to farm.

Bruce Salter is a military brat. He was born at the old DeWitt Army hospital on Fort Belvoir; his early years were spent here in Northern Virginia, which he considers home. Bruce is a 22 year veteran of the United States Air Force, both Active Duty and Air National Guard. His assignments included operational and staff tours, both in the United States and abroad. Bruce currently works as a program analyst conducting long-range planning for Air National Guard federal and state missions. An outdoor enthusiast, his hobbies include whitewater kayaking and hiking. Farming appeals to him because of the challenges it presents as well as the rewards, like helping to keep him physically active and outdoors. His favorite vegetable is kale because it is so resilient, easy to grow, and so full of goodness.

Kat Cole was born in Tucson, Arizona and has never spent more than 5 consecutive years in one place. When she joined the Army, her recruiter tried to talk her into becoming a UAV operator, but she insisted that she wanted a job in which she could learn a foreign language and work with people, not machines - and thus ended up a linguist and  interrogator.  Nearing completion of her 5 year initial term of service, an injury  stymied her prospects for career advancement as a soldier so she re-upped as an Army Civilian specializing in Intelligence.  She served with NATO elements in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, followed by 5 years in the Pacific.  She was then drafted to a staff job and is rounding out her career by serving as a liaison officer to another agency.
She has no idea exactly why she was called to farming, but believes that after 20 years of serving her country, the next 20 should be spent in service of the land.  This will be her third season volunteering with Arcadia.
Kat doesn't have a favorite fruit or vegetable, but has been known to tear up when she talks about the first organic peach she tasted (at Arcadia) and she loves snacking on warm summer tomatoes straight off the vine.

Erica G. Wright currently resides in Springfield Virginia her husband Ken (also active duty military) and 13 year old daughter Micheala. She also has an 11-year-old son Bradley who resides in New Hampshire with his father. Erica was raised in Farmington New Hampshire and has had a love of nature and animals from a young age. Often times Erica would bring home stray or injured animals. Erica served in the US Army for 6 years as a 68R/ Food Inspection Specialist, For the last 3 years of service she served as the Branch and  later District Training NCO for her command at the rank of SPECIALIST.
 Erica and her husband's dream is to own a farm in Kentucky after he retires from the military. The farm would provide the opportunity to be self sufficient while providing fresh healthy food for the family as well as providing additional income. She likes the Arcadia program because it provides her the opportunity to learn more about farming and get a head start on the dream as her husband finishes his career.
Her  favorite vegetable is Zucchini because she make a mean Zucchini Bread!  She also remembers growing up with her mother making breaded fried Zucchini. Her favorite hobby is art of all kinds -- she is generally a crafty person, very hands on when it comes to learning although she learns from various methods. Drawing, Painting often top the list.

Clifton "Tiny" Hoffler currently resides in Greenbelt, Maryland originally from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Clifton is a retired Staff Sergeant who has served in the United States Army for over 21 years in the Military Police Corps. Clifton’s combat tours include Desert Storm/Shield and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Arcadia’s program is one part of his goal to become an urban farm-to-table chef. Stratford University Culinary Arts Degree will complete the mission within the next 18 months.

Tom Snowdy is in the US Navy. Tom is currently raising a small flock of broiler chickens in his Maryland backyard (he keeps the rooster in his basement so as not to annoy the neighbors). He  plans to build a 100-acre livestock farm and grow all their feed on his own land.

Luke McCullock is a recent transplant to DC, originally from Vermont. He was an Army engineer for 9 years with deployments in 2010 and 2014, the later wrapping up just in time to make it into the Veteran Farmer Program 2016 class. He is interested in pursuing urban aquaponic gardening and hoping to expand from there. Both of his parents grew up on farms in New England and are a little skeptical of city farming, but they are coming around. He studied Sociology at the University of Mary Washington, and the helicopter flight program at the Community College of Baltimore County.

Lt. Cdr. Chris Papavasiliou grew up in Bowie, MD where he graduated from Bowie High School. Following high school, he attended Villanova University on an NROTC Scholarship, where he received a B.A. in Human Services in 2002.
 Chris is a Navy Intelligence Officer and has been in the Navy for 13 years on both active duty and in a reserve status.  Chris has served in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the senior Intelligence Officer for Task-Force 134.
 He also served as the Tactical Analysis Team Chief for three years at the United States Embassy in Nassau, The Bahamas where he worked closely with Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT).  He supported the counter illicit trafficking mission
In Nassau for three years and subsequently served at the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Counter Narcotics Division for one year.
 In March 2015, Chris took an opportunity with United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and currently serves as the Chief of Joint Operations, where he leads a team of analysts focused on counter-terrorism, military capabilities, and targeting efforts.  He is also a critical liaison to USAFRICOM’s Joint Reserve Intelligence Support Element. 
 Chris is also enrolled in a Master of Tourism Administration Program at George Washington University where his focus is sustainable destination management.
 Chris married his wife, Gail, in September 2013. They have two sons, Dylan (13 years old) and Atlas (5 months old).
 Chris is interested in farming as he and Gail are planning to develop, own, and operate a small eco-resort on Andros Island in The Bahamas.  Their vision is to have a co-located farm adjacent to the resort that will feed the guests and intimately expose them to the farm-to-table concept. 

Laron on the farm last fall. Photo by Tim Peterson
Laron Murrell –  Laron joined Arcadia full-time in October as our first Veteran Farm Fellow. A two-tour Iraq war veteran, Laron plans to put his family farm in North Carolina back into sustainable vegetable production after he completes his training program with Arcadia. He told the group after a visit home this winter to eastern North Carolina, he saw with new eyes how vital it is for him to go back to raise nutritious food for his community. He has already been approached by a landowner to take over an established farm. We’ll be working with him to develop a business plan to ensure his success, for his own well-being and that of his community. Read more about Laron here

 The Arcadia Veteran Farmer Program is funded in part by generous grants from the USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program, Grace Communications Foundation, the Claneil Foundation, the Rumsfeld Foundation, the Prince Charitable Trusts, and the Neighborhood Restaurant Group.


  1. شركة ابو سمره لجميع متطلبات المنزل
    شركتنا الأفضل لنقل الاثاث بالرياض شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    تعمل على تقديم افضل الخدمات للزبون من سرعة الاداء وجودة العمل والمحافظه على ممتلكات المنزل ,شركة عزل خزانات شركة مميزه شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض
    كما انها شركة لتنظيف الخزانات بالرياض شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    شركتنا بها تخزين اثاث بالرياض تعمل على تخزين الاثاث بنظام شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض
    شركتنا تعد المميزه فى شركات مكافحة الحشرات فى الرياض شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض
    شركتنا ممتازه فى تنظيف الشقق والفلل بعمل جاد شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بالرياض شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    وايضا شركة تنظيف موكيت باتقان بالرياض بالمنظفات عالية الجودهشركة تنظيف موكيت بالرياض
    يوجد لدينا شركة تسليك مجارى وايضا تنظيف بيارات بالمهاره الكامله شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف البيارات بالرياض شركتنا تعمل فى الصيانه والترميم بالرياض
    شركة صيانة وترميم بالرياض
    شركتنا تنفرد فى مهارة رش المبيدات دون التاثير على صحة الزبون او العمال شركة رش مبيد بالرياضشركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
    شركة ابو سمره بها عمال لكشف تسربات المياه بالرياض شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض


  2. شركة مكافحة حشرات بمكة

    شركة المنزل هى شركة مكافحة حشرات بمكة لدينا العمالة المدربة على استخدام اجود انواع المبيدات المستوردة لابادة جميع الحشرات بمكة كالصراصير والنمل الابيض وبق الفراش والعته والوزغ والناموس والعقارب والثعابين كما اننا نقدم جميع خدماتنا بأرخص الاسعار بمكة .
    ((شركة المنزل هو اسم يعنى الثقة ))

    شركة مكافحة بق الفراش بمكة



  3. نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة بيتى هى شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة لدينا العمالة المدربة التى تقوم بخدمات نقل العفش بأرخص الاسعار وبالاعتماد على السيارات المجهزة والتى تجوب جميع شوارع المدينة المنورة وعمالتنا تقوم بتفكيك العفش واعادة تركيبه حتى لا يتعرض للخدش او الكسر ونحن مدربة على تغليف العفش بالمدينة المنورة بأجود المغلفات التى تحمى العفش من الاضرار كالخدش والكسر ونحن لدينا خدمات تخزين الاثاث بالمدينة المنورة ولدينا المستودعات المجهزة والخالية من الحشرات والقوارض وحميع عمالتنا مدربين على تخزين اثاث المدينة ولدينا احدث الاوناش والروافع التى تساعد فى خدمات تخزين الاثاث بالمدينة المنورة وجميع خدماتنا بأسعار مناسبة .
    تخزين اثاث بالمدينة المنورة

  4. يتوافر لدي مركز صيانة زانوسي عمالة مدربة علي مستوي عالي من الكفاءه والفاعلية وذلك من خلال الدورات التدريبية المتطورة التي يقوم مركزا كل فترة باعطائها لفريق العمل حتي يكونوا دائما علي دراية كاملة بكل ما هو جديد في مجال الصيانة

  5. يتميز مراكز صيانة شارب بتواجد فيها امهر المهندشيين والفنيين التي لديهم المقدرة علي مواجهة جميع العطال مهما كانت صعبة او معقدة
    يتوافر لدي مراكز صيانة جولدي خدمة الصيانة الفورية وهذه الخدة تقوم من بدا الاتصال بنا نقوم بارسال فريق مجهز الي المنزل المتواجد في الجهاز التالف

  6. يتواجد لدي الشركة العالمية مركز صيانة جولدي الذي يتوافر فيه جميع قطع الغيار الاصلية الممكن الاحتياج اليها في الاجهزة الكهربائية لجميع الماركات والانواع من الشركات المصنعة لها ولا نقتصر علي ماركاتنا فقط

  7. يوفر دار رعاية مسنيين بمدينة نصر رعاية طبية وصحية و اجتماعية متميزة لجميع كبار السن المتواجديين لدينا لاننا لدينا ادراك تام وفهم لجميع
    متطلباتهم واحتياجاتهم في هذا العمر المتقدم علي يد متخصصين في ذلك المجال ويوجد لدينا دار رعاية مسنيين بالمعادي و دار رعاية مسنيين بمصر الجديدة

  8. الكثير الان يتجهون الي عمل تصميم خارجي للبيوت بشكل متميز عن باقي البيةت الموجودة حوله لذلك يلجئون الي التراز الاوروبي الفاخر وهذل سوف يتحقق مع شركة البدر لانها وكيل معتمد من الشركات العالمية لبيع جميع انواع القرميد ومستلزماته


  9. شركة تخزين عفش بالطائف
    شركة المنزل هى شركة تخزين عفش بالطائف لدينا المستودعات المجهزة والخالية من الحشرات والمؤمنة من السرقات والحرائق ونحن نقدم جميع خدماتنا فى مجال تخزين العفش بالطائف داخل مستودعات كبيرة لتضم جميع عفش منزلك ونحن خبراء فى مجال تخزين عفش بالطائف ونقدم جميع خدماتنا بأسعار قليلة .
    شركة تخزين اثاث بالطائف

  10. تحرص صيانة بوش العالمية علي تقديم اعلي كفاءة من الخدمات المتاحة للعملاء اي انها تعمل علي تقديم جميع الخدمات للعملاء من خلال التواصل معهم وحل مشاكلهم المتعلقة بصيانة الاجهزة الكهربائية .

  11. تعتبرشركة امن وحراسة لها امتيازات كبيرة ويمكنك الحصول علي تلك الامتيازات من خلال شركة حرسات امنية والتي تعمل علي حمياة الافراد والممتلكات الخاصة باعلي كفاءة ممكنة من افاراد الامن .

  12. تتميز شركة تنظيف خزانات بمكة انها تعمل علي تنظيف خزانات بمكة عن طريق استخدام الوسائل الحديثة من العزل المائي والعزل الحراري الذي بيعمل علي تطهير الخزانات بمكة المكرمة .

  13. تعلن صيانة جليم جاز انها تعمل علي صيانة الاجهزة الكهربائية علي يد اكبر قدر ممكن من تالخبراء والمهندسين وفريق الدعم الفني في صيانة الاجهزة الكهربائية .

  14. تتمع صيانة تكنوجاز و صيانة بانانسونيك ان بها افضل اعمال صيانة الاجهزة الكهربائية وهي تتمتلك كل من صيانتها مميزات خاصة بصيانة للذلك يعتبر هما توكيلات معتمدة في مصر .

  15. فريق عمل متميز يمكنك الاعتماد عليه في اصلاح جميع اعطال الاجهزه الكهربائية الان وهو فريق عمل صيانة كريازي الذي يتوافر يوميا وعلي مدار ال 24 ساعه لخدمة العملاء في محافظات مصر .

  16. Even though this post may not have the kind of information I was looking for, I would say that its a post that have a lot of professionalism and it offers the kind of information that is helpful and genuine. How i hope that more is on the way.
    Wall Guards

  17. فريق من الاطباء الان في زراعة الشعر في تركيا احصل عليها الا وتواصل مع اكبر المراكز المتخصصة في اسطنبول لاعمال الزراعة علي تايدي خبراء متخصصين في زراعة الشعر ومتابعة العملاء بعد الانتهاء مباشره .


  18. تواصل الان مع صيانة تكييفات كاريير للحصول علي افضل الخدمات التي تقدمها تحت ارشا فمجموعه من اهم الخبراء والفنيين في توكيل كاريير حيث يمكنك التعامل معهم بكل ثقة في تحقيق اعمال الصيانة بجودة عالية وباقل التكاليف فقط تواصل معنا الان من خلال صيانة كاريير لللحصول علي خدمات باقل الاسعار وفي اي وقت .


  19. تعرف علي المزيد من خدمات توكيل الكتروستار واحصل الان علي المزيد من خلال مجموعه متخصصة من اهم وافضل الخبراء في مصر الذين يمكنهم التعامل مع جميع العملاء والوصول الي افضل النتائج عبر التواصل مع رقم الكتروستار في اي وقت الان .


  20. اسعار شركة نقل عفش بمكة تعرف عليها الان من شركة الاخلاص والامانه والتي تهتم بخدمة مجموعات كبيرة من العملاء لضمان الامان وسرعة نقل عفش مكة الي الاماكن المناسبة في اي وقت ومن خلال فريق عمل مؤهل لذلك


  21. عروض واسعار مميزه من خلال شركة تصميم مواقع من شركة سوقني اكبر شركة متخصصة في مصر تعمل مع مجموعه من اهم الخبراء والفنيين يمكنك التواصل معهم يوميا وعلي مدار ايام الاسبوع للتعرف علي مميزاتها عبر شركة تسويق الكتروني يمكنك الاعتماد عليها في اعمال اشهار مواقع الشركات الخاص بك في اسرع وقت .