Are you a beginning farmer military veteran or a Farm Bureau member who is interest in mentoring a new farmer? West Virginia Farm Bureau is now one of four state Farm Bureaus participating in American Farm Bureau Federation’s Patriot Project.
West Virginia, along with Texas, Arkansas and Indiana are piloting the Patriot Project. The Patriot Project is developed as a six month program which facilitates an educational and professional relationship between military veteran farmers and experienced farmers.
The military veteran must have their own resources to get started, and must apply for a mentor online by filling out a survey at:http://www.strongruralamerica.com/patriot_project/
The military veteran, or mentee, should be actively farming and using their own resources to succeed. They should be willing to learn and be open to suggestions and primed for success. The mentor’s role is to take interest in the military veteran’s skills, interests and resources to guide them toward success.
The most effective mentors develop trust and friendship with their mentee over common bonds, and help the mentee achieve their business and farming goals. Effective mentors listen and challenge the mentee to think about things differently.
Both the mentor and mentee need to be flexible and take time to schedule meetings face-to-face in the beginning months of working together. As the relationship progresses, emails, phone calls and other means of communication can take the place of physical meetings. In rural areas this can be difficult, but it is extremely important to the success of the team. Developing a friendship is the beginning of a strong mentorship.
If you or someone you know would like to participate in the Farm Bureau Patriot Project, or if you would like more information, contact Tabby at West Virginia Farm Bureau via phone or email.