Farm Corps, a new program aimed at providing job opportunities for Illinois veterans, will pair furloughed or unemployed veterans with agricultural producers who have an immediate need for on-farm labor.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, joined the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Illinois, Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois AgrAbility to announce the partnership program.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused a number of problems for producers across my district, including a shortage of on-farm labor,” said Bost. “COVID-19 has also caused many veterans to be furloughed because of businesses being shuttered. I’m proud to have worked with our public and private partners to get this program off the ground for both our veterans and agricultural producers.”

To participate in the program or to learn more, visit {illinoisfarmerveterans.org/farmcorps}.

“Labor is a continual need for agriculture,” said Raghela Scavuzzo, IFB associate director of food systems development. “At this time, as farms work to keep employees safe, the demand is greater than ever. The Farm Corps program serves dual roles by allowing farms to post positions and hopefully identify workers, and connect veterans and servicemen that are furloughed with agriculture. We feel this program could be of great assistance to our state and are excited to assist.”

Farm Corps is also supported by the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Department of Employment Services and Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.