Hillsborough County’s Military Farm Tours Focus On Careers Beyond The Field

By Tamas Mondovics

In an effort to provide military veterans, reservists, transitioning active-duty personnel and their spouses an opportunity to explore career options available in the agriculture industry, continued Hillsborough County officials have once again scheduled a free bus tour to a number of farms throughout the county.

The Military Agriculture Tour Program is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, February 3 at Hillsborough County Extension Services, 5339 CR 579 in Seffner. Sporting more than 93,000 veterans, Hillsborough County has the second highest veteran population in Florida, and is soon to become the first according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The annual event is organized through a partnership between Hillsborough County Economic Development, Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, Hillsborough County Extension Services and community partners committed to assisting transitioning veterans by providing meaningful connections to quality civilian career opportunities and training. In preparation for the upcoming tour, county officials emphasized that today’s agriculture industries increasingly focus on using technology and management systems for the production of food, medicine, consumer products and energy.

“During the tour, veterans and transitioning military personnel will be introduced to career paths and job opportunities within modern agriculture operations and supporting industries,” said Agribusiness Development Manager, Simon Bollin.

New areas in agriculture include: Precision Agriculture, Energy Crops, Agribusiness, Food Science and Technology, Community Supported Agriculture and Environmental Protection Aquaculture. Participants will get a chance to visit a variety of farming operations and the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in southern Hillsborough County.

At each stop local officials and participating business owners on hand will highlight the diversity of agricultural operations in Hillsborough County.
With seating limited, veterans and local active duty military personnel are encouraged to pre-register at the event page by Wednesday, February 1.
Lunch will be provided. For more information on Military Agriculture Tour community partners and career resources for transitioning veterans visit HCFLGov.net/Vets2Ag or contact Simon Bollin, Agribusiness Development Manager, at 276-2735 or BollinS@HCFLGov.net.