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.


Farmer Veteran Coalition Staff, Membership Benefits Grow

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While you’ve been busy working hard, we here at Farmer Veteran Coalition have been thinking of ways to better serve you, which is why we are excited to announce a number of upcoming changes and additions.

With our membership approaching 7,000 farmer veterans—and growing daily—we thought it was the perfect time to revamp and re-energize our relationship with our most valuable resource: our members.

To do so, we promoted one of our own to manage the newly established Member Relations and Benefits team. Aaron Magill, who also manages the Homegrown By Heroes Label, will lead FVC’s charge to take a more interactive, hands-on approach to our outreach/intake activities.

“This increases our ability to connect with our farmer veterans and meet their needs, whoever they are, wherever they’re at,” said Magill, Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

To assist Magill in his new role, we have also hired two new employees. Daniel Vickers, Army and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, joins the team as the veteran outreach coordinator, bringing with him an educational background in animal science with a concentration in livestock and dairy production. Evan Eagan, Marine Corps and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, joins the team as the veteran communications outreach coordinator and will serve various communications functions, most notably overseeing the production of our bi-monthly newsletter.

In the coming months, we will also be announcing major changes to our membership, with a more defined list of benefits and exclusive discounts from our sponsors.

Be sure to check our website for updates, and keep an eye out for our bi-monthly newsletter.


Farmer Veteran Coalition Celebrates 7 Years

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Dear Friends,

Seven years ago today, February 12, 2009, Farmer Veteran Coalition began pursuing its mission of mobilizing veterans to feed America. With little money, but lots of real life farming experience, I decided to try to galvanize support from our agricultural community for the men and women who were returning to rural America after serving our nation at war.

Agriculture is America’s most decentralized, family-owned industry and one in desperate need of help. Our efforts have brought together the USDA, the Farm Bureau, Farm Credit, Farmers Union and dozens of organizations dedicated to developing a new generation of farmers – all on behalf of our veterans.

Our leadership and our collaborative nature, combined with a focus on supporting those veterans who wanted to farm, has made us a lean and effective organization. Most of our funders came to us and have stayed with us over the years. We are in no way qualified to judge how other veteran nonprofits run their organizations, but we are proud of ours. If you want to learn more, let us know.

Michael O’Gorman
Founder and Director
Farmer Veteran Coalition


Farmer Veteran Coalition Hosted Conference for More Than 80 Women Veterans and Speakers

ewvlogoMarch 4-5, 2016
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY

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Homegrown By HeroesThank You Farm Credit For Your Continued Support

Thank you to Farm Credit, the official national sponsor of the Homegrown By Heroes program, for your continued support. Homegrown By Heroes is now used by more than 400 farmer veterans in 45 states. Started by the Department of Agriculture in Kentucky, we now have partnerships with 12 other state departments of agriculture. FVC is grateful to the generosity of our partners that make this important work possible. Learn more about Homegrown By Heroes at http://www.farmvetco.org/homegrown-by-heroes/

Notice: You must be a registered member of Farmer Veteran Coalition to apply for the Homegrown By Heroes label

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