Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching.
What is the
Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund?
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000, and nearly $4 million has been awarded to more than 930 veterans since 2011.
How the Fellowship Fund Works
The application for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund opens once per year at which time eligible veterans are given no less than four (4) weeks to submit a fully completed application.
Once the application period ends, an advisory panel of agricultural industry professionals convenes to review submissions. The application review process can take up to two months with awardees usually being notified in the Spring.
Farmer veterans who are selected as Fellowship recipients have six (6) months to use their award.
Upon notification of their award, Fellowship recipients may begin seeking out third-party vendors to make their purchase. All third-party vendors must be approved by the Fellowship Fund manager prior to purchase.
After an approved third-party vendor has been selected, the Fellowship Fund manager makes the payment on the farmer veteran’s behalf.
The application, which consists of both short answer and essay questions, is comprised of five main focus areas: military service, educational background, prior farming experience, business and financial planning, and short-term and long-term goals.
Applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Farm training/experience and/or transferable skills
- Personal investment in their farm business
- Strength of funding request and ability to show how an award will help grow their farm business
- Vision and goals for the future of their business
- Community involvement
Throughout the course of completing the application you will be required to upload the following additional document:
- A business plan
- Proof of service
How to apply
Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 and some of the most common purchases include:
- All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)
- Beekeeping equipment
- Breeding livestock
- Bulk feed
- Storage freezers
- Tractor implements
- Walk-behind tractors
2022 Fellowship Fund Supporters
Eligibility & Requirements
- Must be a member of Farmer Veteran Coalition. Click here to join now.
- Have served or are currently serving in any branch of the United States Military.
- Received an ‘Honorable’ characterization of service upon discharge from the military. Other characterizations of service may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- Currently serving service members must provide a letter of support from their commanding officer or designated representative attesting to their characterization of service.
- Must have an agricultural business in operation and a business plan.
- The Fellowship is designed to support for profit agricultural businesses, non-profit entities are not eligible to apply.
- Previous Fellowship recipients are NOT eligible to re-apply.
- Must be willing to fully participate in the Fellowship Program, which includes periodic progress reports, mentoring other farmer veterans and a desire to make a positive impact on the farmer veteran community
Support the Fellowship
Want to help a veteran get their start in farming? Donate now or learn how to become an official supporter of the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund.
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