Up & Coming Weekly

September 08, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 9-15, 2020 UCW 13 Boots to Roots: A Farm Tasting scheduled for Sept. 20 by MINDY LOVE COVER STORY MINDY LOVE, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. The Veteran's Farm of North Carolina, Inc. will host its inau- gural "Boots to Roots: A Farm Tasting" at the Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom in Hope Mills on Sunday, Sept. 20. After receiving a National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant in May from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the VFNC began organizing the launch of the Veterans Agricultural Training and Education Program. The VATEP is a new initiative designed to provide 60 military veterans with hands-on vocational training on a farm in the agricultu- ral industry. VFNC Executive Director and Marine Corps veteran Robert Elliott will launch the organiza- tions first VATEP class this fall, in a partnership with Fayetteville Technical Community College. "VFNC's ultimate goal is to train, network and equip veterans, all- owing them to easily transition into the agricultural industry to further serve our country while experiencing a life of peace," Elliott said in a release announcing the upcoming farm tasting event. The VFNC is striving for pro- gram sustainabilit y through efforts such as the "Boots to Roots" series of fundraiser events. The "Boots to Roots" events are collaborations with other vete- ran-owned businesses who will facilitate and host the farm-to- table tastings. The goal is to raise money to assist the VFNC with fun- ding to support and expand its mission. Transitioning from the military to civilian life can be challenging. The VFNC strives to assist veterans with training and networking while equipping them with a toolbox of skills needed to transition into the agricultural industry. North Carolina is home to many veteran-owned businesses, including veteran farmers. Creating a support network between these businesses and the general public is a win-win for the local community and veterans alike. Kicking off this VFNC series of events is veteran-owned favorite Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom, affectionately known as DBA to locals. This first "Farmer-Veteran Celebration" will be held under the DBA outdoor pavilion. Brewmaster Vernardo "Tito" Simmons-Valenzuela will serve up signature craft beer f lights paired with the small plates created by Brian Graybill, veteran owner of the DBA on- site restaurant, Napkins. Graybill takes his inspiration for the fall-inspired tasting menu from the produce, meat, seafood and other products all grown, raised and produ- ced on farmer-veteran farms in North Carolina. The menu includes fall bruschetta, autumn salad, empanadas de chorizo, catfish croquetas, lamb bulgogi, beef barbacoa and bisteca con chimichur- ri. Ingredients for the menu are being provided by Watson Sanders Farm, Pappy's Urban Farm, CATHIS Farm, Cedar Creek Fish Farm, Purpose Driven Family Farm, Green-Eyed Farms and Spartan Tusk & Feather Livestock. Featured farmer-veterans will be located at various stations around the tent during the event. Each will serve attendees their featured small plate created by Napkins as attendees rotate from station to station. Ernesto Rivas, veteran and acoustic guitar player, will provide live music. Guests will have a chance to win har- vest baskets donated by local veteran artisans and business owners in a 50/50 raff le. All staff and servers will wear masks and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. Guests are asked to wear masks when not seated, drin- king or eating. This farm-to-table event will be split into two seatings with the first from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the second from 7-9 p.m. The cost is $65 per single ticket or $120 per pair, which covers food from Napkins, a f light of 5-ounce beers from DBA and live music. No refunds will be issued, but tickets may be transferred to others. The event is open to adults, 21 years and older. DBA is located at 5435 Corporation Drive in Hope Mills. For tickets, visit https://w w w.eventbri- te.com/e/boots-to-roots-a-farm-tasting- tickets-114750521900 The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is a farm designed and dedicated to instructing and trai- ning servicemembers on all aspects of agriculture.

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