According to data released by the Department of Veterans Affairs, as of fiscal year 2017, there were approximately 20 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces, representing slightly more than 6 percent of the U.S. population. Nearly 24 percent of these military veterans return home to rural America.               

However, in many agricultural-dependent states, the portion of military veterans from rural America is much higher. For example, in Maine and Vermont more than 60 percent of military veterans return home to rural parts of the state. In the Upper Midwest, Great Plains and Southeast, many states have over 30 percent of their military veterans returning to rural America. 

To make it easier for veterans returning to rural America to find or continue a career in agriculture, the 2018 Senate farm bill provides additional financial and risk management support. Benefits include Farm Service Agency down payment loans, reduced interest rates on guaranteed loans and increased risk management education and support.