"I cannot think of any profession that would be more rewarding; this role takes everything that I am and have achieved throughout my life, and utilizes it for the service of the two groups of people I admire the most: our veterans and our farmers and ranchers."
Jeanette Lombardo’s passion and life experiences have uniquely prepared her to lead Farmer Veteran Coalition. Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, while her father served in the U.S. Air Force, she was raised on her family’s multi-generational farm in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Jeanette spent multiple decades in the agriculture financing industry before co-founding and serving as Chief Strategic Officer for Global Water Innovations, Inc., a desalination technology company that creates innovative water solutions for the agricultural sector. Prior to this, Jeanette was the principal for California Food and Agribusiness Advocates whose mission was to improve policy decisions for farmers in the areas of water, land use, crop protection tools, and international trade.
Over the course of her career, Jeanette has received appointments at the federal and state level including to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Farmer, Rancher, and Rural Communities Committee, the USDA’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade, and the State of California Environmental Protection Agency’s Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. Jeanette also belongs to and has served on several agricultural association boards including President for California Women for Agriculture and American Agri-Women.
“I believe deeply in American agriculture and the rich reward it can give to all who take part in it. Sharing that opportunity with men and women coming home from war has been a wonderful and humbling experience.”
Michael began farming in 1970. After 20 years in 1990 Michael was hired to run the first organic farm in Salinas, California. Over the next five years TKO Farms became the country’s leading grower of packaged salad greens. In 1996 he became the first Farm Manager for Mission Organics, growing for the Earthbound label and newly formed Natural Selection Foods. In 1998 Michael began a ten year stint developing 1600 acres of intensive organic vegetable and herb production in the northern half of Baja California for Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, including 30 acres of indoor tomatoes. In 2008 he began the Farmer Veteran Coalition out of the back of his pickup truck.
"I'm very grateful for the personal sacrifices our veterans have endured, and I'm humbled by their desire to continue their service by providing for our nation. It's an honor to support their new endeavors in agriculture."
Rachel manages FVC’s Fellowship Program, administering grants that support veteran farmers in their new careers. This program enables veterans to invest in the infrastructure and tools they need to feed their community. After earning a degree from UC Santa Cruz in Community Studies with a focus on food systems, Rachel worked on small-scale farms for six years. During her time in the field, she learned the intricacies of harvesting okra without getting itchy, collecting 600 eggs without cracking any, and bunching kale with one hand. Most importantly, she gained an unparalleled respect for the people who grow our food. Through her work in non-profit organizations, Rachel cultivated relationships between farmers and the community by establishing farm to institution programs. She also provided growers with technical assistance through workshops on topics such as irrigation efficiency, business planning, and marketing.
Director, Training & Education
Manager, Homegrown By Heroes Label
“The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be… because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!”
Paul was born and raised near Seattle, Washington. Fresh out of high school, he joined the United States Marines as a Motor Transport Operator. After his service, Paul’s love for the outdoors led to a career in landscaping and, eventually, small-scale agriculture. He is a University of California Master Gardener, Master Composter, and Hydroponicist. While employed at hydro-organic Archi’s Acres™, Paul harvested hydroponic basil and maintained greenhouse systems. He also worked on a small, family agribusiness specializing in old west homesteading; he cleared land, established a micro-farm, built agritourism projects, managed and harvested acres of lilacs, and taught archery and tomahawk basics to tourists. Paul’s latest passion project is a hydroponic hop and agritourism farm.
“My family has been blessed by the support and generosity of many veteran-focused organizations. It is an honor to now be apart of one of those organizations and to serve my fellow veterans.”
Isa Marie served for 8 years on active duty in the U.S. Army as a Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) Repairer. She completed two deployments in Iraq, totaling in 27 months of combat operations. Her military awards include the Combat Action Badge, the Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, and four Army Commendation Medals, among others.
In 2012 Isa Marie became caregiver to her husband, Alex, after he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on deployment to Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of both of his legs. Several years after his injuries Alex turned to beekeeping to provide him with a new purpose. Now the two have close to 800 hives, along with goats, chickens and horses.
In May 2019, Isa Marie graduated from Sacramento State’s Business Honors Program where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. In September 2019 she joined the FVC team as a Veteran Service Provider. Isa Marie currently serves as Committee Chair for Women Veterans Giving and is an active participant in the “Vanquishing the Invisible” portrait project.
Veteran Service Provider
"Words cannot express how honored I am to assist veterans through agriculture. These men and women have sacrificed everything and seeing these amazing individuals enter the agriculture community is such a special opportunity."
Abbie grew up in East Texas, where her family has been involved in agriculture for generations. She is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, earning a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business. She was very involved in the Agriculture Business Club, Lumberjack Marching Band, and many other organizations.
Abbie has grown to love beef cattle. She and her fiancé, Cullen, hope to have their own herd soon, along with working horses. In her spare time, she loves working with animals, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends.
Abbie joined Farmer Veteran Coalition in January 2022 as a Veteran Service Provider. She believes that giving back to veterans through her love for agriculture is one of the most rewarding opportunities she could have.