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

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.

“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.