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Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont Launches Homegrown By Heroes

August 23, 2016

Board members, farmer veterans and Vermont Homegrown by Heroes growers will meet with FVC founder Michael O’ Gorman and Farm Credit VP Gary Matteson, along with staff from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, to initiate the 16th state program to adopt the Homegrown by Heroes program.

Homegrown by Heroes began through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and granted the Farmer Veteran Coalition to administer the program on Veterans Day in 2013. Since its inception, HGH has assisted over 500 veterans in 48 states to market their product as being from a veteran-owned operation. The Farmer Veteran Coalition currently has over 7,000 members in all 50 states and has given away over a million dollars to help a veteran establish or expand their agricultural operation.

The Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont is recognized as being one of the first four chapters of this national organization and has partnered with the Vermont Farm Bureau, NOFA-VT, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Vermont AgrAbility, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Sterling College, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Office and Congressman Peter Welch’s Office to provide support for veterans who are interested in transitioning into agriculture following their time in service.

The mission of the Farmer Veteran Coalition is to mobilize veterans to feed America, and in Vermont, our focus is to provide educational and internship opportunities, assistance with land acquisition through federal and state programing, peer to peer mentorship and an appropriate re-integration back into the civilian sector through ecological land stewardship.

Since December of 2015, the FVC-VT received a donation of 3,375 packets of seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds (which were distributed to veterans in eight different states), provided a keynote address at the fourth annual NEK Veterans Summit, hosted a veterans retreat in partnership with Zeno Mountain Farm in Lincoln, Vt., participated with the St. Michael’s Veterans Garden through the Vermont Community Garden Network and provided agricultural guidance/ sweat equity to our farmer veterans which include John Hojek’s Gold Star Roses in West Burke, Frank Hill’s Integrity farm in Grand Isle, and the Bowen family’s Meadowdale Farm in Putney.

Event Details:

Thursday, August 25, 2016
9:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Vermont Statehouse
115 State St.
Montpelier, VT
Room 11

Please join us for this momentous event to honor the dedication of our returned service members to their communities through their agricultural endeavors and for the diligent efforts made by our nonveteran partners in providing support to our organization and its members.