“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.
Director of Fund Development
“I owe almost everything to two groups of people: agriculture producers and veterans. To be able to assist in the promotion and recognition of both of those groups is truly rewarding.”
As the grandson of two veterans and the son of an Air Force veteran, Nick’s farming and military roots run deep. Nick grew up in the Texas panhandle on his grandfather’s cotton/cattle operation. These men helped form Nick’s love of agriculture and his passion for working with veterans. Nick also has a passion for working with youth and is a volunteer for Koda’s Kamp, a free camp for siblings of medically dependent children to connect with other kids who deal with similar things at home.
Nick graduated from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, TX, earning a bachelor’s degree in Ag Business and an MBA in Management. He is married to Kristol, Director of Student Accounts at Baylor University, and has two kids, Grady and Kalyn. The whole family enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors, especially fishing. Nick joined Farmer Veteran Coalition in August 2022 as Director of Fund Development. Before joining FVC, he worked as an ag irrigation specialist, a seed production agronomist, an agriculture sales and marketing consultant, and an agriculture data analyst.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Lawrence Rhone is a Fayetteville, North Carolina, native and Army veteran who served during both the Cold War and Gulf War eras in field artillery as a forward observer which included directing close air support. In addition to his time spent sending rounds down range, Lawrence also became a Defense Language Institute certified translator of the German language and remains proficient as a simultaneous translator. Lawrence is also an Office of General Counsel accredited Claims Representative, a member of the National Organization of Veteran’s Advocates (NOVA), and in August 2021, he was appointed to the Advisory Council on Vocational Rehabilitation by the Secretary of the Veteran’s Administration in Washington, D.C.
At FVC, Lawrence serves as a project manager which allows him to share his deep knowledge base on both the veteran and agriculture fronts, particularly on grant-related work in addition to other agriculture career-focused programs and initiatives.
Lawrence and his wife operate Rhone’s Farm & Retreat LLC in Flaxville, Montana, a veterans solution resource where they provide firsthand insight into the journey of acquiring, establishing, and sustaining a veteran-owned, conservation oriented, organic practicing, farm and ranch operation.
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.
Digital Marketing Specialist
“I have always had a great respect for veterans and the sacrifices they make. Having the opportunity to help these men and women while also learning and sharing their unique stories is one that I am very grateful for.”
Born and raised in Waco, Texas, Diego left Waco to attend the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. His love for nonprofits began when a local nonprofit in Waco helped pay for his college expenses. Since then, Diego has worked with several nonprofits during his time at UNT and has continued that now that he is back in Waco. His experience includes client relations, event planning, social media management, and communications. Meeting new people and learning about their stories has become a passion of his and one that he hopes to continue for a long time. In his spare time, Diego loves watching soccer, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with his family and friends.
“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.