Veterans Offered Farm Training

On-the-job training offered veterans who want to learn to farm after WWII.

On-the-job training offered veterans who want to learn to farm after WWII.

As more veterans returned home, many didn’t have jobs and wanted to farm. Factory work and clerical work didn’t appeal to the boys who were raised on farms. To help solve this problem, the Missouri Department of Education, working in cooperation with the Veterans Administration and the state’s high schools, worked out a plan for the modification of “on-the-job” training. This combined school instruction and actual farm work to place the veteran on an even footing with skilled farmers in his own community.

The new plan was divided into three categories. The first plan was the “institutional program.” In this step, the veterans went to school to learn to be a farmer, just as he would go to school to learn about dentistry, law, or engineering. The students learned most of their training in an agricultural school, with off-campus inspection trips to supplement the education.

The second classification was when veterans trained for a position existing in the employer’s farm organization. Off-the-farm instruction of a supplementary nature was included. This plan held the employer responsible for the training. The veteran was trained to take over a certain phase of the farm operation, such as dairy supervisor or being in charge of the beef cattle.

The third classification was the comprehensive plan developed by the Department of Education, Veterans Administration, high schools and agriculture agencies, plus on-the-farm training. These phases were planned so that each supplemented the other. The responsibility for the entire course rested with the school. The school not only offered the classroom instruction, but it also helped with the on-the-farm phase of training.

The plan was broken down further into two subdivisions. One plan was designed for the veteran who could take the on-the-farm portion of his training on his own farm; the other plan was for a farm under his management. In each case the veteran was enrolled at the local school as an agricultural student.

Under all the training plans the veteran was allowed to receive monthly subsistence allowances from the government which enabled him to earn a living while learning the science of farming.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin