Farmer Veteran Coalition
Read: Farm Credit Expands Support for Farmer Veterans: Farm Credit is partnering with USDA and Niman Ranch to deliver agricultural credit training workshops in the Midwest for military veterans and beginning farmers.
Homegrown by Heroes
The Homegrown by Heroes product labeling program will allow farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and the like from all 50 states and U.S. territories who have served or are still serving in any branch of the U.S. military the ability to use the logo on their agricultural products. Consumers and businesses purchasing agricultural products will begin to see this logo at the point-of-purchase and on business signage, enabling them to select products that support our country’s farmer veterans.
To qualify for the Homegrown By Heroes label, one must have served honorably or still be serving in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and be at least 50 percent owner and/or operator of the farm business. Veterans of all eras are encouraged to apply. FVC staff assists applicants in developing food safety plans and, if needed, business plans. FVC is now accepting and processing Homegrown By Heroes applications, which can be completed at http://www.hgbh.org.
Farm Credit, the nation’s largest network of farmer-owned agricultural lenders, supported the national launch of the Homegrown By Heroes label with a donation of $250,000. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the National Farmers Union (NFU), and a wide array of other farm organizations also support the Homegrown By Heroes label.
Farm Credit and the Farmer Veteran Coalition
Download the Farm Credit Council and Farmer Veteran Coalition Partnership Collaboration Guide for Farm Credit Institutions
Returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan have become the latest group of veterans in need of employment and who, by some measures, may be the most likely young people to enter into agriculture and other rural-based businesses.
As service members return from active duty they tend to return to their rural communities, and sometimes have difficulties finding long term employment, and often need additional assistance in accessing capital to start farm businesses.
Recently, the Farm Credit Council increased its collaboration with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), an organization aimed at mobilizing veterans to enter agriculture and help feed America while rebuilding rural communities. FCC and FVC have partnered to help find farm ownership or employment opportunities for members of the military transitioning into the civilian work force.
The vision for the partnership is to connect the talent and experience that Farm Credit System institutions have in financial and business skills, with farmer veterans whom the FVC has identified as potentially needing such assistance.
Farm Credit by the Numbers
Number of Loans at Dec. 31, 2015
Farm Credit Customers Nationwide
- $235 billion
Total Loan Volume at Dec. 31, 2015
- $11.8 billion
New Loans to Small Farmers and Ranchers in 2014