In 2009, Farmer Veteran Coalition incorporated as a project of Community Partners, our fiscal sponsor. A few days earlier we had set up shop in our $250/month office – a book storage room in downtown Davis, California with two desks, a phone number and an address. We had a big idea and we were ready to get busy.

It is hard to imagine how new the concept was – mobilizing veterans to feed America. But we already had found about 15 veterans who were eager to become farmers. Our plan was simple: find a way to help them, and then tell their story.

The story was simple and told best with a picture. A young man or woman joined the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard after 9/11 (most of them), deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan (many of them), and here they are with their pigs or chickens or tomatoes. It was a story of courage and resilience, transformation and optimism. It was a story for our time.

A lot has happened over the past decade and we at FVC are proud to have been at the forefront of this important movement all along. But, after all these years, it is still finding ways to help an individual veteran transition to a farmer that motivates us.