Michigan State Promotes 'Vets to Ag' Program - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan State Promotes 'Vets to Ag' Program


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Coming home from armed service can be difficult and sadly can sometimes lead to homelessness, but a program at Michigan State University called "Vets to Ag" has helped a group of veterans get back on their feet with the focus on meat.

He may be enjoying steak now, but just over six weeks ago, former Air Force member Joseph Braunsdorf was homeless.

"I was out there doing the same thing. It is to the point where I was just surviving," said Braunsdorf.

But now he and 10 other Michigan veterans are primed and ready to go into meat cutting. They completed a six-week program called "Vets to Ag," which gave them the right pieces to land a job.

"These meat cutters come out with a couple licenses in the meat cutting industry, which is very, very key. Plus they get a Red Cross certification because they're dealing with people and could have injuries with knives and things like that," said Major General Robert W. Smith III, Director of Veterans' Services Division.

They spent four weeks in class pouring over a binder of math and training techniques, before grinding it out in MSU's meat lab.

"What I'm seeing is a great model that can be used in other institutions to teach our veterans other skills that they would not need a college degree for," said Marilyn Sellers, a Veteran's Outreach Manager for B3 Solutions.

Sellers is interested in starting a similar program in Florida and flew in from Tampa to see the ceremony. She says this program should be used everywhere.

General Smith says photos from the training will head to the White House, but it's already changed Braunsdorf's life.

"I've been up here and I've been down here. And now I'm getting back where I want to be. This was all I could ask for," said Braunsdorf.

The Vets to Ag program continues to expand. If you'd like more information, visit Seen on 6.

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