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Today, on Veteran’s Day, we’d like to share how important agreements between the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the historic home of Cooperative Extension, and the Department of Defense have led to an important partnership to assist veterans and military families during times of both peace and conflict.

As service providers who work with our military members and families in our current programs, USDA/NIFA and DoD, we strive to build capacity among service men and women and their families, and even the communities within which they live.

OneOp recently launched this exciting new concentration area called “Community Capacity Building” which will work to accomplish three things:

  • Build mutual awareness among Cooperative Extension faculty/staff, Military State and Family Programs Directors and Military OneSource consultants about how all participants can contribute to efforts to build community capacity among service men and women.
  • Host compelling and useful training with each of the above identified audiences via easily accessed webinars, virtual workshops, and face-to-face meetings.
  • Enhance the DoD’s Family Readiness System’s assets by explicitly including the Cooperative Extension assets and resources.

Cooperative Extension has a long history of assisting veterans and military families during times of both peace and conflict.  During the last decade or more of conflict in the Middle East, many Cooperative Extension programs have worked tirelessly to assist military families to enhance the capacity of military members and their families to thrive during and after their service to their country.

In the Department of Defense, support to military families includes mobility and financial readiness, mobilization and deployment readiness, and personal and family life readiness and is delivered in the Military & Family Support Center located on the military installations, and through National Guard, and Reserve Family Programs. They, along with your and other civilian counterparts, make up the Military Family Readiness system.

This system is designed to prepare service members and their families to effectively navigate the challenges of daily living experienced in the unique context of military service.

Ready individuals and families are knowledgeable about the potential challenges they may face; equipped with the skills to competently function in the face of such challenges; aware of the supportive resources available to them; and make use of the skills and supports in managing such challenges. Family readiness services are intended to emphasize personal growth, positive development, and improve individual and family functioning.

Please continue to visit us here to learn more, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on future OneOp Community Capacity building opportunities. We will be reaching out to you directly in the near future.

If you need more information or assistance, please contact Dr. Keith Tidball (CE) at [email protected] or Pam Cunningham (DoD) at [email protected].