Kubota Tractor Corporation, Wounded Warrior Project®, Tractor Supply Company, Tractor Supply Company Foundation, Woods Equipment, AgWest Farm Credit, ADM and more, support largest award amount in program history!
Waco, Texas, UNITED STATES, May 5, 2023 – The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) announced today over $530,000 in awards and equipment to veterans across the country through the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, the largest amount awarded in program history. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans involved in agriculture by awarding them equipment and small grants in the amount of $1,000 to $5,000 to purchase items identified to make the largest impact in moving forward in their farm or agriculture business.
More than 133 farmer veterans representing 43 states and all branches of service (with the exception of Space Force) received notifications this week that they have been selected to receive an award to purchase things like beekeeping equipment, fencing, livestock, tractor implements, walk-behind tractors, and other supplies.
“As Program Coordinator for the Fellowship Fund, I experience firsthand the impact these grants have on our beginning farmers and ranchers. We are all thankful for the service our Veterans have given, but to be able to watch them grow their new businesses and feed the people of this country is so rewarding” said Abbie Earp, program coordinator for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. “With generous support from our funders, FVC is excited to be able to show our Farmer Veterans so much support and get them to the next phase in developing their farming operations.”
Major funding for this year’s program was made possible by Kubota Tractor Corporation, Wounded Warrior Project®, Tractor Supply Company, Tractor Supply Company Foundation, Woods Equipment, AgWest Farm Credit and ADM. Additional funding and support was provided by Lamps Plus and individual donors.
Veterans who submitted an application to the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund had the option to apply for Kubota’s Geared to Give program which donates five pieces of equipment to Farmer Veteran Coalition members each year. Recipients of this year’s Geared to Give awards will be announced shortly. The Geared to Give program has provided 46 pieces of equipment to Farmer Veteran Coalition members since it was established in 2015.
Awardees of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund were selected by third-party reviewers consisting of seasoned agriculture industry professionals from the Farm Credit network of cooperative lending institutions, the National AgrAbility Project, and over 25 other partner organizations. Applications were judged based on the strength of a veteran’s business plan, personal investment in their business, vision, and goals, as well as a clear need for assistance. The application period for the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund opens once per year, in January, at which time veterans have six weeks to apply.
“Access to capital is often the largest barrier to entry for beginning farmers and ranchers. The Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund was established to help address this exact challenge for U.S. Military veterans and service members who want to begin farming,” said FVC Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo. “FVC is thankful for our reviewers and funders, without their support this program would not be possible.”
To see the full list of awardees visit, https://farmvetco.org/2023-awardees/
Since it was established in 2011, the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund has awarded over $4.5million in small grants and equipment to 1,176 veterans. Every year the program continues to grow, and FVC is always looking for new partners to meet this demand. To learn more about the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund, please visit www.farmvetco.org/fvfellowship. To inquire about supporting the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Farmer Veteran Coalition
Based in Waco, Texas, Farmer Veteran Coalition’s (FVC) mission is to assist service members and veterans transitioning out of military service into careers in the agriculture sector or assist them with starting their own farms or ranches. Established in 2009, FVC’s in-house programs include the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund small grant program, the nationally recognized Homegrown By Heroes label for veteran-grown products, and national and regional conferences. As the nation’s largest nonprofit assisting veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces embark on careers in agriculture, FVC works to develop a new generation of farmers and food leaders. This is done through expanding viable employment and career opportunities with support and collaboration of the farming and military communities. For more information, visit www.farmvetco.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @FarmerVeteranCoalition and on Twitter at @FarmVetCo.