Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund Announces $320,000 in New Awards; $1 Million Since 2011

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The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund announced a record $320,000 in new awards this week. The awards, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 went to 140 veterans who have already launched, but are still developing, their farm businesses. The grants are paid to third-party vendors on behalf of the veterans for things such as livestock, bee supplies, well-drilling and farm equipment.

This year’s grants put the total amount of purchases made on behalf of the five-year program to well above $1,000,000. Nine experienced farmers and agriculturists selected the grantees from a record 200 applicants.

“We received an influx of highly qualified applicants to the 2016 program,” said Rachel Petitt, Farmer Veteran Fellowship Manager. “Our Advisory Council had the difficult task of granting awards. Each application tells a story of bravery, inspiration and discovery as our members transition from the military to farming.”

Funding for the Awards was provided by Bob Woodruff Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Prairie Grove Farms and Prudential Financial. In addition to these awards, FVC will be granting four new tractors to farmer veterans in 2016 from Kubota Tractor Corporation.

“At a time when the public is concerned about where their charitable dollars go, foundations and corporations that give to our Fellowship Fund can have a direct impact on veterans as they launch their farm businesses,” said Michael O’Gorman, Executive Director of FVC.


Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan to Host Third Annual Stakeholders Conference

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DAVIS, California – Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a national nonprofit serving military veterans in agriculture, has announced that its Michigan chapter will host the third annual Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference this fall. The conference will be held November 30 to December 2 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

FVC-Michigan will work with MSU’s Vets to Ag Program to host the conference, which will bring more than 500 farmer veterans and supporters from around the country to the university. The conference will feature workshops on agricultural topics, business planning and personal wellness. Evenings will feature distinguished speakers from the military, government agencies and leaders in the agricultural industry.

“Our national conferences have been invaluable to building this important movement,” said FVC Director Michael O’Gorman. “We’ve seen dialog launched between our federal partners turn into national policy. We’ve seen important insight into what makes farming healing for veterans turn into valuable research. And we’ve seen the veterans themselves form a supportive community that has helped them immensely in their individual endeavors.”

Attending the conference, in addition to veterans pursuing agricultural careers, will be representatives of state and federal governmental partners, universities, veteran service organizations, farm organizations, farm training programs and non-profits working to connect veterans with agriculture. Some scholarships will be available to help veterans with travel and registration.