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USDA Celebrates National Farmers Market Week:

Marine Veteran Serves through Agriculture

Garfield Jarret served in the Marine Corps until he was injured in Iraq during a roadside attack. When he returned to the United States, he attended Florida International University (FIU) to receive his undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work.

As an FIU student, he learned about the FIU Veterans and Small Farmers Outreach Program (VeSFO). The intent of this program, funded by USDA, is to provide veterans, socially disadvantaged and new farmers in South Florida with necessary technical information, farm entrepreneurial skills and access to government assistance programs they need to start and sustain viable farm operations.

“I did all the different types of therapy you can do as a veteran,” Jarret said. “I tried them all but didn’t get the same connection as I get when I work with the land. I can live a happy and healthy life.” 

Jarret has been the owner and operator of Cool Runnings Organic Farms in Homestead, Florida, since 2014. He currently raises goats, poultry and rabbits. He also grows a variety of vegetables and tropical fruits such as longans, starfruit and jackfruit.

Publication date: 8/10/2017



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