Lovay Wallace-Singleton, a twenty-year Navy veteran, comes from a family that is dedicated to military service. Her father served as a tank driver in World War II, her husband spent 5 years in the Navy, and two sons are Air Force veterans, serving multiple tours in the Middle East. Lovay holds a degree in Business Administration and is a certified Master Gardener, but she attributes much of her agricultural knowledge to the sixteen years she spent growing up on a farm in Mississippi.
In February of 2012, Lovay founded Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden in New Bern, North Carolina. VEBCOG provides temporary employment for post-war veterans transitioning back to civilian life and teaches urban farming entrepreneurial skills. Lovay received the Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award for her successes with employing veterans, their dependents and spouses, along with transitioning them to permanent employment while growing fruits and vegetables as a peaceful means of rehabilitation. One of their many projects is providing produce to the Disabled American Veteran Van for distribution to veterans who ride to and from their medical appointments.
Last year Hurricane Florence struck the educational farm, bringing 5 feet of water in 4 days. Many repair projects loom in the wake of the flooding, and rebuilding their hoophouse is one of them.
A local vendor reached out to Lovay after the hurricane, offering a discount on any equipment needed; with Altria Group’s support, FVC granted Lovay $4,000 to make the purchase.