50 Heroes, $50,000: Tractor Supply, Farmer Veteran Coalition Award Grants to 50 Veterans for Farm Projects
Tractor Supply Company Press Release
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BRENTWOOD, Tenn., April 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tractor Supply Company will honor 50 veteran farmers nationwide during an Armed Forces Day shopping event Saturday, May 19 in partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC). The rural retailer will donate $50,000 in awards through FVC’s Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, a grant program that offers assistance to veterans in the early stages of their farming operations, culminating in a one-day shopping event across the country.
Tractor Supply will provide 50 Fellowship awardees with a $1,000 gift card to purchase critical items needed to support their agriculture business. In celebration of the 68th annual Armed Forces Day, which honors all U.S. military personnel, recipients coast-to-coast will redeem their gift cards at their local Tractor Supply store on May 19. Veterans will be paired with knowledgeable Tractor Supply team members for a personalized shopping experience tailored to their unique farming needs.
“Agriculture provides a meaningful, purposeful career that not only benefits the farmer, but also the community it serves,” said Colin Yankee, retired army captain and senior vice president of supply chain at Tractor Supply Company. “Through Tractor Supply’s partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition, we can provide a token of our gratitude to these veterans as they continue to give back to their communities in a new way through agriculture.”
This year, FVC, the nation’s largest nonprofit assisting military veterans embarking on agriculture careers, distributed a total of $300,000 to 125 recipients through the Fellowship Fund. Rather than distributing money directly to the veterans, awardees utilize third-party vendors to provide items they have identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. In addition to monetary support, the program offers one-on-one mentorship support to each awardee. Since the Fellowship Fund’s beginning in 2011, the program has awarded grants valued at more than $1.9 million to 500 veterans pursuing an occupation in agriculture following their service.
“We are so excited about this new partnership with Tractor Supply Company and what it means for farmer veterans,” said Michael O’Gorman, founder and director of Farmer Veteran Coalition. “Through their support to our Fellowship Fund, Tractor Supply will make a big impact on America’s rural veterans by giving them a much-needed boost as they launch farming businesses.”
This year’s Fellowship awardees were selected by a team of seasoned agriculture industry professionals. Criteria included farm training and experience, personal investment in their farm business, a clear need for assistance, and their vision and goals for the future of their farm business.
For more information about Tractor Supply, visit www.tractorsupply.com. To learn more about FVC and the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, visit www.farmvetco.org.
About Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO) is in its 80th year of operation and, since being founded in 1938, has grown to become the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States. With 28,000 team members, 1,700 stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website, Tractor Supply is passionate about serving its unique niche, as a one-stop shop for recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle. Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization, exclusive brands and legendary customer service that addresses the needs of the Out Here lifestyle. The Company leverages its physical store assets with digital capabilities to offer customers the convenience of purchasing products they need anytime, anywhere and any way they choose at the everyday prices they deserve. At March 31, 2018, the Company operated 1,700 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website at www.tractorsupply.com.
Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At March 31, 2018, the Company operated 172 Petsense stores in 27 states. For more information on Petsense, visit www.petsense.com.
Farmer Veteran Coalition
Farmer Veteran Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that assists active duty and veteran members of our Armed Forces embarking on careers in agriculture by providing them with education, resources and small grants to launch their own farming operation or find employment in farming. Established in 2008, Farmer Veteran Coalition’s network of more than 11,000 veteran members from all 50 states and U.S. Territories are served by mentors in the areas of agricultural production, law, business planning and career counseling, the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, and the nationally recognized Homegrown By Heroes label for veteran-grown products. Learn more at: www.farmvetco.org.