From Veterans to Farmers: The Farmer Veteran Coalition Supports Service Men and Women with Roots in Rural America
With a goal to create a sustainable food system while strengthening rural communities and offering beneficial work to Veterans, the Farmer Veteran Coalition is cultivating a new generation of farmers and food leaders.
An ever-increasing percentage of enlisted service men and women have roots in rural America. The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) was born out of a desire to provide those returning from war an opportunity to find peace and purpose at home, during what is so often a difficult time.
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
Today, the FVC is the nation’s largest nonprofit assisting veterans. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to Vets beginning their farming or ranching careers. Veterans from any era and from any branch of the military who received an honorable discharge are eligible to apply for the Fellowship.
Past Veterans award winners have used the award money for large-ticket items such as breeding livestock, tractor implements, and storage freezers to get started or to improve upon current operations. 2021 applications are currently under review, and anyone interested in applying in 2022 should start by watching this short video to game plan for the application process.
Homegrown by Heroes
In 2013 the FVC began administering the Homegrown by Heroes label, which was created earlier in the same year. The HBH designation certifies Veteran ranchers, farmers, and fisherman to sell their products as Veteran owned and produced. This provides a tangible way for consumers to support Veterans and gives Veterans the point-of-sale visibility needed to be successful in today’s marketplace. In short, the label informs consumers about the source of their food products and allows veterans to set their farms and ranches apart from others.
To learn more about the Farmer Veteran Coalition, their programs, resources, and how you can help, visit www.farmvetco.org.