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Archi’s Acres and VSAT are the result of two passions shared by two passionate Americans. Through their farm, Colin and Karen Archipley have found a way to support sustainable agriculture while serving our nation’s veterans.
The couple married while Colin was serving as a rifleman in the United States Marine Corps. Despite combat deployments to Iraq that kept the couple separated far too often, Colin and Karen were able to turn a run-down avocado farm in the hills above the scenic southern California city of Escondido into a state-of-the-art, organic, hydroponic greenhouse operation. The small farm now produces living basil, kale, avocados and more for the local market.
What’s more, the Archipleys had the vision for an entrepreneurial incubator for transitioning veterans. With unemployment for veterans twice the national average and the country in dire need of new farmers, the Archipleys committed to the creation of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program.
Since founding VSAT in 2007, the Archipleys have trained more than 150 veterans for careers in sustainable agriculture and other sectors in the food supply chain.
Now, Archi’s Acres is rolling out its VSAT program at locations nationwide. This rollout has commenced with the kickoff of construction of a 30,000 square foot “farm incubator” that can serve as the prototype for job-creating, water-saving, food-producing, veteran-led hydroponic organic greenhouses nationwide.
Archi’s Acres has enlisted Major General Melvin Spiese and his wife Filomena to join us in support of the mission to make this program more diverse and robust enough to build it into a nationwide network.
The intention is to create real value and good jobs in countless American communities, by harnessing the power of the 1 percent of Americans who served in the past decade of war. These high capacity people have already demonstrated their unique ability to be trained and subsequently serve with distinction under most arduous and demanding of conditions, and we can leverage those qualities and skills against some of America’s greatest needs. The endgame is redeploying returning veterans and unemployed civilians to US cities, while coordinating with city, state and federal governments to create good jobs providing local, fresh food, reduced energy waste and pollution, improved wellness and rebuild infrastructure.
With more than a decade of war winding down, America has a wealth of returning veterans. This gives our nation a unique and powerful opportunity to refocus their training on transitioning our nation to sustainable systems, as they transition themselves from military to civilian life.
While the national rollout is just getting started, Archi’s Acres is working with a team of dedicated veterans who have a shared vision.
Along with their small army of veteran farmers, Karen and Colin have transformed their vision into the first local company with a national footprint.
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