Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference Update

Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference Update

With a busy calendar of events launching chapters and Homegrown By Heroes partnerships this fall, FVC will not be hosting a national Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference this fall. We are working now on plans for our next conference in November 2018. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you all soon!

FVC Launches VA, West VA, NY Chapters, Announces Three More By End of Year

FVC Launches VA, West VA, NY Chapters, Announces Three More By End of Year

James McCormick is a man of many titles. He’s a decorated Army veteran, a minister, a father of eight—including two serving their country in the armed forces—and owner of Raising Cane Farms in rural West Virginia.

James is also director of his state’s Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program, the first state-backed program of its type in the country. And now he has a new title: president of Farmer Veteran Coalition of West Virginia—one of six new state chapters that are launching this year.

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Homegrown By Heroes Label Surpasses 1,000 Certified-Producers, 20 State Partners

Homegrown By Heroes Label Surpasses 1,000 Certified-Producers, 20 State Partners

Before the Homegrown By Heroes label was established by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in January 2013, there wasn’t an industry recognized way for farmer veterans to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. A few short years later, with a rapidly growing farmer veteran community spanning all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Farmer Veteran Coalition is excited to announce the Homegrown By Heroes label has surpassed 1,000 certified-producers.

Marine veteran Daniel Wavle became the 1,000th Homegrown By Heroes member on June 8 when he certified his operation, Shoshana Shalom Farms in Hondo, Texas, with the label. Wavle, who served more than 14 years in the Marines which included two deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, currently raises goats and chickens and is in the process of building an aquaponics greenhouse for vegetable and tilapia production.

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Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund Announces $200,000 in New Awards; $1.5 million since 2011

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund Announces $200,000 in New Awards; $1.5 million since 2011

Military veterans turned farmers from around the country received a major boost today as Farmer Veteran Coalition announced $200,000 in new awards for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. Fifty farmer veterans representing all military branches and multiple service-eras were notified via email that they were awarded a 2017 Fellowship, bringing the total amount awarded in the program’s history to more than $1.5 million.

Established in 2011, the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans who are in the early stages of their farming operations. With awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, purchases are made to third-parties on behalf of the veteran for critical items such as breeding livestock, used tractors, greenhouses, irrigation systems and more. This year’s awards range from supplies to build a barn for Army veteran Michael Reynolds in Georgia to an egg washer for Air Force veteran Nathan Layton in Pennsylvania.
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Women Farmer Veterans Unite at 4th Empowering Women Veterans Conference

Women Farmer Veterans Unite at 4th Empowering Women Veterans Conference

Women farmer veterans from around the nation came together in California’s wine country May 3-5 for the fourth annual Empowering Women Veterans: Business, Agriculture, Well-Being Conference held at the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa in Santa Rosa, California.

The goal of the conference was to bring women farmer veterans together and equip them with the business and farming tools necessary to be successful in their agricultural endeavors. During the conference, attendees participated in educational workshops, roundtable discussions, listened to distinguished guest speakers, toured a local farm and took advantage of the resort’s impressive facilities to network with their fellow farmer veterans.
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FVC Hosts First Veteran Career Fair at CSU Fresno

FVC Hosts First Veteran Career Fair at CSU Fresno

Agriculturally focused veterans and more than 20 employers from the public and private sector came together April 19 at the Farmer Veteran Coalition Veteran Career Fair held at California State University, Fresno, to introduce veterans to career opportunities throughout California’s $47 billion agricultural industry.

“California produces most of our fruits and vegetables: 99 percent of artichokes, 99 percent of walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, 95 percent of garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, 69 percent of carrots, and the list goes on,” said FVC Program and Development Manager Randy Ryan, who coordinated the event.

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Farmer Veteran Coalition to Host Career Fair at CSU Fresno

Farmer Veteran Coalition to Host Career Fair at CSU Fresno

Building on its mission of mobilizing veterans to feed America, Farmer Veteran Coalition, a national nonprofit organization that assists military veterans embark on careers in agriculture, will host a Veteran Career Fair April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Satellite Student Union aboard California State University, Fresno.

As the national unemployment rate among veterans continues to climb, the Farmer Veteran Coalition Career Fair will bring together job-seeking veterans with representatives from agricultural-related employers and government agencies. Employers representing growers, packers, shippers, farm equipment distributors, and more, will be on-hand to accept resumes and discuss career opportunities with their organizations.

“Veterans are looking for careers that are dynamic, lucrative and meaningful. Agriculture in California offers all three,” said FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman. “We want veterans to see the wide range of exciting career paths throughout our industry. And we want agricultural employers to see the skills, the work ethic and the strong personal character that veterans can bring to their operations.”
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The Safeway Foundation Awards $50,000 to Farmer Veteran Coalition

The Safeway Foundation Awards $50,000 to Farmer Veteran Coalition

DAVIS, CA (April 4, 2017) – The Safeway Foundation announced that its Veterans campaign, an in-store fundraising effort aimed to improve the lives of Veterans and their families, awarded more than a half million dollars to fund Veterans programs in the neighborhoods throughout Northern California. The gift to Farmer Veteran Coalition will fund two Food and Farming Career Fairs as well as internships or scholarships to learn organic farming at Jacobs Farm in San Jose, California.

“We are delighted to have a partner like the Safeway Foundation and appreciate their leadership,” said FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman. “The Food and Farming Career Fairs will expose veterans in California to the wide range of high-paying opportunities in the state. There is a shortage at all levels and our veterans deserve a chance to continue to serve by feeding their neighbors,” O’Gorman continued. “The work we do in San Jose provides veterans with practical experience in organics. In the first year of the internship program, all seven of the interns have found full-time employment in agriculture.”

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