Karen Archipley and Jessica Molina, Advocates for Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Karen Archipley and Jessica Molina, Cofounders of Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training

Name: Karen Archipley & Jessica Molina

Occupation: Co-Founder of Archi’s Acres and Career Development for Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training

Place of Residence: San Diego, California

Background and Personal History: Colin served as a Marine from October 2002 to October 2006, including three tours: Invasion of Iraq, Battle of Fallujah and Haditha. Karen was a serial entrepreneur passionately working in the fashion industry internationally. Colin and Karen were married in September 2005.

Current Projects: Cal Poly Pomona College of the Extended University has partnered with Archi’s Acres to create the Veteran’s Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT), an accredited six-week agricultural entrepreneurial incubator certificate program. The certificate program includes six Cal Poly Pomona courses and students will earn 17 units of academic credit for these courses in addition to receiving the certificate. VSAT is considered a one-year farm ownership through USDA FSA. VSAT Grads can deploy with USAID, which will waive the two-year college agriculture requirement with a VSAT Certification.

Other Fun Facts: Agriculture is naturally therapeutic. 46 percent of members of the military come from rural backgrounds. America is down to less than 1 perecent of farmers, and less than 1 percent have served in the last several conflicts. The VSAT program has the 1 percent. This program has helped many veterans with their PTSD, providing a calm and empowering environment.

The VSAT Certification Program also serves as a second sense of hope for our veterans looking for jobs. After these veterans come out of the military, jobs are scarce and the transitional help is lacking. This program helps provide unique job experience and an entrepreneurial mindset to enhance their futures.