AUGUSTA — A bill to help veterans start their own farming businesses has won unanimous approval from the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, according to the House Majority Office.

Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, is the primary sponsor of the bill, which directs the University of Maine System, Kennebec Valley Community College and two state agencies to design a pilot program to help veterans get the skills necessary to become farmers. The program would address the difficulties some veterans face when returning to civilian life.

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“We need to cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders as part of our path toward prosperity,” Hickman said in a statement.

The bill, L.D. 409, now heads to the House and Senate for consideration.