31 Dec Coalition hosts Veterans Day Celebration
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) – Arkansas Chapter hosted a Veterans Day Celebration at Windy Hill Farms in Searcy. The event offered an opportunity for FVC – Arkansas Chapter and Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes members, other farmer-veterans, and program partners, to network and share information.
The celebration was the first official meeting of the FVC which was established in May with 410 members. The FVC is a non-profit organization that helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture and serves a network of over 20,000 veteran members nationwide. The organization works with the agricultural community, partners and sponsors to support those who served our country once by defending it, and now serve a second time as farmers feeding it.
During the event, official Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes (HBH) personalized signs were presented by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward to new members: Jumpmaster Ranch LLC in Independence County and Queen Bee Apiary in Greene County. HBH scholarship recipients, Taylor Brandt and Gavin Sparks, also were recognized.
The national branding program is administered by the FVC which enables farmer veterans to market their local agricultural products by labeling them as veteran-produced. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture, with support from Farm Credit, launched the Arkansas Grown HBH program in 2015. More information about the program and scholarships can be found at agriculture.arkansas.gov.
“When consumers see an Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes sign or logo, they know the food they are purchasing was grown in Arkansas by an Arkansas veteran,” said Ward. “The Arkansas Department of Agriculture appreciates Farm Credit’s support of this important program, and we are proud to honor all of the Arkansas farmer-veterans.”
To join the FVC – Arkansas Chapter and Arkansas Grown HBH programs, farmers must be a veteran or currently serving as an active duty, National Guard or Reserve member of the United States Armed Forces.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.
Learn more by contacting Arkansas Homegrown By Heroes Program Manager Karen Reynolds at 501-529-1630 or visit arkansasgrown.org/homegrown-by-heroes.