Non-profit Helps Veteran Farmers


By Debbie Gregory.

In November, 2006, William O’Hare and Bill Bishop of the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute published a report showing that “rural families are paying a disproportionately high price for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Michael O’Gorman was farming in Mexico at the time, overseeing 1,600 acres of organic tomatoes, peas, basil and other fresh market produce. But he had a long history of farming in California and knew many other growers there. O’Gorman organized a gathering for farmers in California’s Central Coast to talk about creating jobs on their farms for returning veterans.

From that gathering came the Farmer Veteran Coalition, a non-profit based in Davis, CA. So far, the coalition has given out $1.2 million in grants to veterans who want to start farms.

Among those supporting the coalition’s efforts are the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Prairie Grove Farms, Farm Credit Counsel, Prudential Financial and Kubota Tractor Corporation.

O’Gorman felt that his personal journey, of going into agriculture with no money, land or education nearly forty years earlier, and becoming one of the country’s most prolific organic farmers, could help a new generation of new farmers.

“When I read the Carsey study, there was something magnetic about the idea of getting veterans on the farm,” said O’Gorman. “Just short of 40 years in my career path, I decided to do something different.”

In 2009, O’Gorman received substantial funding from the Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund, which he said “was handling the nation’s largest private donation made on behalf of American veterans.

“They vetted 50 groups and distributed most of the money the year prior, but when they heard about FVC, the leaders recognized the unique program we had to offer veterans, and we became the 51st group to receive funding.”

The coalition’s vision of the future is an organization that will be around for decades, in every state, continuing to unite the agricultural sector: government, education, private industry, conventional and alternative farming and the veterans themselves.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.


Military Connection: Bob Woodruff Foundation Presents Stand Up for Heroes: By Debbie Gregory

stand-up-for-hereos-2014The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival will once again be at the Stand Up for Heroes event.

Stand Up for Heroes kicks off the New York Comedy Festival with an electrifying night of comedy and entertainment, all the while honoring the sacrifice of service members, Veterans and military families.

Among the stars headlining Stand Up for Heroes 2014 will be Louis C.K., Bruce Springsteen, John Mulaney, John Oliver, Brian Williams and other surprise guests.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at the Theater, Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from Stand Up for Heroes go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help wounded Veterans and their families succeed in all aspects of their lives. This will be the eighth year that the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival have joined forces to offer Stand Up for Heroes. To date, the event has raised more than $21 million for their cause.

“Lee and I are so humbled by the generous contributions of the talent, sponsors, and variety of organizations in honor of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News Journalist and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Woodruff continued, “Each year the show gets bigger and better, demonstrating the unwavering support of all those involved.”

Speaking for both he and his wife, Woodruff said, “We, as well as the show’s talented performers, want to show our appreciation for and give back to the brave men and women who served our country and have come home injured. We are inspired and moved by the grand presence of all these groups on such an incredible night for us to commend and remember our heroes.”

Tickets for Stand Up for Heroes 2014 are available for purchase through, or Corporate sponsor packages and VIP benefit packages can be purchased by emailing [email protected].

This year’s event will be brought to you by Veterans on Wall Street, as well as the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation supported by founding sponsor GFI Group, Inc.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation:

The Bob Woodruff Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a grassroots reach, dedicated to ensuring injured service members and their families are thriving long after they return home.  The foundation diligently navigates the labyrinth of more than 40,000 programs and organizations that provide service to Veterans. As of 2014, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $22 million in public education and solutions, reaching more than two million service members, Veterans and their families. The foundation was co-founded in 2006 by award-winning news anchor Bob Woodruff and his family. Woodruff was injured while covering the war in Iraq, which inspired him and his family to help make sure the nation’s heroes have access to the highest level of support and resources, for as long as they need it. For more information about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, please visit

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: Stand Up for Heroes Event: By Debbie Gregory