Frontier Natural Products Co-op, a leader in natural and organic herbs, spices and aromatherapy products, has committed $27,000 in scholarship funds to Archi’s Acres’ Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program via Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA.
Developed by veteran and hydroponic farmer Colin Archipley and his wife, Karen Archipley, the VSAT program trains transitioning service men and women to be successful in the sustainable agriculture industry. Students complete a six-week certificate program worth 17 academic credits at Archi’s Acres in partnership with Cal Poly Pomona’s College of the Extended University.
“Our veterans are a tremendous asset and organic farming is one way for them to leverage their skills after their service to our country is complete,” said Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Natural Products Co-op. “Archi’s Acres provides the education and training necessary to help them create a viable, organic produce farming businesses.”
Course work focuses on small-scale, organic farming methods including hydroponics, drip/micro irrigation, environmental control, soil biology, composting and greenhouse management as well as business management. Students also have the opportunity to network with successful industry leaders.
“More than 200 graduates have left our farm ready to help feed our nation the highest quality food available using the least amount of natural resources,” said Collin Archipley, Archi’s Acres cofounder. “Our philosophy is to look to the veteran community for their leadership skills and to give them opportunities in a growing industry.”
After classes end, Archi’s Acres assists with job placement and business creation. Graduates include successful farm owners and workers, soil-testing pioneers, restaurateurs and food company owners.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op’s donations are the result of its Simply Organic brand’s 1% Fund. With the purchase of Simply Organic brand spices, seasoning mixes, baking flavors/extracts, and baking mixes, the co-op donates one percent of Simply Organic’s net sales to support organic agriculture through education, research and grower development.
Social giving is major component of Frontier Natural Products Co-op’s unique cooperative business model. Annually, the co-op donates nearly $600,000 of its pre-tax profits to support research and to promote organic agriculture education and practices in the communities around the globe, ranking it among other top companies in the nation for its yearly social giving as a percent of sales.