Renowned Urban Farmer Will Allen Announced as Keynote at Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference

will-allen-sized Photo by Tom Lynn | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Farmer Veteran Coalition is excited to announce Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power Inc. and former professional basketball player, as the keynote speaker of the Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference, November 30 to December 2 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Allen will deliver the keynote address on the evening of Thursday, December 1, the conference’s second day. 

As CEO of the national nonprofit Growing Power Inc., Allen has been at the forefront of the urban farming movement by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities through training, active demonstration, outreach and technical assistance. These efforts have led Allen to be recognized as a preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world.

“Will Allen has shown us that urban farming can be serious, viable food production,” said FVC Director Michael O’Gorman. “Every time I have been to Growing Power, I come away wanting to share what he is doing with veterans that are going into farming on small and marginal pieces of land. I am thrilled that he can share some of how he is doing that at our conference.” 

Drawing upon his diverse life experiences growing up on his family’s small farm in Maryland, playing professional basketball in Belgium, working in corporate America and championing the urban farming movement, Allen will address the conference, which is themed “United We Farm.” 

For more information about Will Allen and Growing Power Inc., please visit: http://www.growingpower.org/about/. For more information on the agenda, registration and accommodations, please visit: http://www.farmvetco.org/fvsc/

Geared to Give: FVC, Kubota Awards Sixth Tractor to Iowa Marine Vet

Geared to Give: FVC, Kubota Awards Sixth Tractor to Iowa Marine Vet

Kubota Tractor Corporation, in partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition, awarded the sixth tractor of the “Geared to Give” program August 30 in a special ceremony at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. Aaron White, a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, was the recipient of a Kubota L-Series compact tractor presented by Todd Stucke, Kubota senior vice president of sales, marketing and product support, and FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman.

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FVC Member, Marine Veteran Awarded New Kubota Tractor in ‘Geared to Give’ Program

FVC Member, Marine Veteran Awarded New Kubota Tractor in ‘Geared to Give’ Program

Kubota Press Release

Kubota Tractor Corporation announced the latest recipient of a donated tractor in its “Geared To Give” program is Michigan resident Jason Scramlin, owner of Split Rail Farm in Hickory Corners. During a special ceremony Thursday at his farm, Scramlin was presented with the keys to a Kubota L-Series compact tractor in recognition of his years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps and for his dedication to farming. The donation by Kubota–the fifth donated tractor in the “Geared to Give” program–is in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), in an effort to provide financial support and donated Kubota equipment to U.S. military veterans pursuing a future in farming.

Scramlin and his wife, Jordan, own and manage a flock of 30 commercial ewes. They breed and lamb their ewes annually, in addition to producing their own hay. They currently sell their lamb products for meat and wool, and have their sights set on expanding the operation as demand continues to grow. Scramlin is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and third generation Michigan farmer. Jordan Scramlin also grew up on a farm, and the two met while attending Michigan State University (MSU) in pursuit of Animal Science degrees.

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FVC Hosts British Vets, Invictus Games Athletes on Farm Tour

FVC Hosts British Vets, Invictus Games Athletes on Farm Tour

Earlier this month, Farmer Veteran Coalition hosted two British Invictus Games athletes for a farm tour as one of many stops during their visit to San Francisco to share experiences with other injured service members and learn more about programs and services that actively recruit veterans into meaningful careers.

Nathan Cumberland, a 10-year British Army veteran, and Louisa Walker, a 16-year veteran of the British Royal Corps of Signals, made the trip to San Francisco which was made possible by the Invictus Games Foundation and the British Benevolent Society.

The Invictus Games, which were created by Britain’s Prince Harry in 2014, are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and their associated veterans take part in various sporting events.

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

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

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.”

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Listen to FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman’s Interview on the Nationally Syndicated Radio Program Frontlines of Freedom

Listen to FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman’s Interview on the Nationally Syndicated Radio Program Frontlines of Freedom

Recently, FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman joined Lt. Col. Denny Gillem, U.S. Army (Ret.), on his nationally syndicated radio program Frontlines of Freedom to spread the word about Farmer Veteran Coalition. Michael’s interview begins at the 23-minute mark. Listen to the full interview to hear more details about the free, enhanced membership FVC will be launching this summer.

Listen here or visit the Frontlines of Freedom website:

http://frontlinesoffreedom.com/2016/05/07/show-437-1st-hour/

Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan to Host Third Annual Stakeholders Conference

Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan to Host Third Annual Stakeholders Conference

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.

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Homegrown By Heroes Label Now 500 Farmer Veterans Strong, 15 State Partnership Agreements

Homegrown By Heroes Label Now 500 Farmer Veterans Strong, 15 State Partnership Agreements

When Farmer Veteran Coalition assumed stewardship of the Homegrown By Heroes label from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in 2013, FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman had one goal: expand the label to a nationally recognized brand that differentiates farmer veteran products in competitive markets.

Today, thanks to generous support from Farm Credit, the Homegrown By Heroes label has expanded to more than 500 members representing 46 states plus Puerto Rico. Of those 46 states, Homegrown By Heroes has officially partnered with 15 state departments of agriculture to promote the label in conjunction with their own “Buy Local” labels.

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Band of Brothers: FVC Members Continue Taking Care of Their Own

Band of Brothers: FVC Members Continue Taking Care of Their Own

Taking care of our own is one of the most important tenets of military culture. Regardless of branch of service, the armed forces is a proud band of brothers and sisters where you can always count on someone ‘watching your six.’

After transitioning back into the civilian world, many veterans immediately notice an absence of camaraderie and sense of community that typifies the military lifestyle. The civilian workforce just doesn’t value these ideals in the same way.

Army veterans Greggory DeBoer and Chad Tackett recently proved this mentality is alive and well among the Farmer Veteran Coalition membership.

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From Fighter to Farmer: Tell Your Story for a Chance to Win $5,000 and a Trip to Nashville, Plus More

From Fighter to Farmer: Tell Your Story for a Chance to Win $5,000 and a Trip to Nashville, Plus More

To honor farmer veterans and their service to our country, Successful Farming magazine and Grasshopper mowers have teamed up for a new contest called From Fighter to Farmer. The contest invites farmer veterans—or their friends and family—to share their story for a chance to be one of three farmer veterans who will receive a $5,000 cash prize plus a three-day, all-inclusive trip for two people to Nashville, Tennessee.

These three farmer veterans will also be highlighted in a feature article in Successful Farming magazine next November and on Agriculture.com. Starting in October, you’ll be able to vote online for one of the veterans. The farmer veteran with the most votes will receive $10,000 to spend at Grasshopper mowers, in addition to the $5,000 cash prize and trip to Nashville.

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