One hundred twenty-five veterans across the nation received a well-deserved boost to their farming businesses today as Farmer Veteran Coalition announced $300,000 in new awards through its Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans by awarding them grants to purchase items they have identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business.
Since it was established in 2011, the Fellowship Fund has awarded $1.9 million to more than 500 veterans in the early stages of launching farm businesses. Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000 and common purchases include all-terrain vehicles, breeding livestock, bulk feed, fencing, tractor implements and walk-behind tractors.
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.
Farmer Veteran Coalition and FVC of Kansas are excited to announce they will host the 2018 Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference November 14-17 at the InterContinental Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.
For the fourth year, veterans from across the nation will come together for the largest gathering of the military and agriculture communities for three days of education, distinguished speakers, guest panels, networking, camaraderie and much more.
Held this year in America’s heartland, the conference unites farmer veterans and connects them with the agricultural, governmental and nonprofit partners that support the farmer veteran movement.
“This conference is for the entire veteran to agriculture movement,” said FVC Director Michael O’Gorman. “So many people are doing wonderful work in this space now. It’s great that we can bring everyone together, along with so many farmer veterans, to learn how to support each other.”
Though the details are still being planned, popular events such as the Successful Farmer Veterans plenary session, the Government Partners panel and the Homegrown By Heroes panel will return this year.
Stay tuned for more updates announcing keynote and other guest speakers, breakout sessions and other details.
Eight FVC members are featured as internationally-acclaimed chef and food ambassador Lidia Bastianich pays homage to farmer veterans in her PBS Holiday Special Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes.
In Homegrown Heroes, Lidia visits farmer veterans around the country before bringing them all together for a final feast. Premieres Friday, December 15.
Returning for the eighth award cycle, Farmer Veteran Coalition is excited to announce the application for the 2018 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund will open February 1, 2018. The application will remain open for four weeks before closing on Thursday, March 1 at 5 p.m. PT.
From the main stage of its annual dealer meeting on October 25 in Phoenix, Kubota Tractor Corporation announced four new farmer veteran tractor recipients in its 2017 “Geared to Give” program in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. During a special ceremony, four recipients, one from each of Kubota’s four operating divisions, were presented with keys to new Kubota L-Series compact tractors in recognition of their years of U.S. military service and for their continued dedication to the country by pursuing futures in food and farming.
With a busy calendar of events launching chapters and Homegrown By Heroes partnerships this fall, FVC will not be hosting a national Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference this fall. We are working now on plans for our next conference in November 2018. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you all soon!
James McCormick is a man of many titles. He’s a decorated Army veteran, a minister, a father of eight—including two serving their country in the armed forces—and owner of Raising Cane Farms in rural West Virginia.
James is also director of his state’s Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program, the first state-backed program of its type in the country. And now he has a new title: president of Farmer Veteran Coalition of West Virginia—one of six new state chapters that are launching this year.
Before the Homegrown By Heroes label was established by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in January 2013, there wasn’t an industry recognized way for farmer veterans to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. A few short years later, with a rapidly growing farmer veteran community spanning all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Farmer Veteran Coalition is excited to announce the Homegrown By Heroes label has surpassed 1,000 certified-producers.
Marine veteran Daniel Wavle became the 1,000th Homegrown By Heroes member on June 8 when he certified his operation, Shoshana Shalom Farms in Hondo, Texas, with the label. Wavle, who served more than 14 years in the Marines which included two deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, currently raises goats and chickens and is in the process of building an aquaponics greenhouse for vegetable and tilapia production.