A national organization focused on helping veterans pursue careers in agriculture has scheduled a stakeholders meeting on November 17-20 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Austin, Texas. It will be the fifth national meeting of Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC).
“It’s important that we have a gathering place for our veteran members,” explained Michael O’Gorman, founder and executive director of FVC. “Most live in rural areas and don’t get the chance to meet each other in person. This is a great way for them to come together, share ideas and dream of their next steps.”
FVC, headquartered in Davis, California, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. The nonprofit organization works with the agricultural community, partners and sponsors to help returning veterans who are seeking new ways to stay in communities they left in order to serve.
“A study showed that ever increasing numbers of our military veterans came from rural areas,” said O’Gorman. “We wanted to find ways they could partner with farmers in their hometowns who could offer opportunities. We have assisted hundreds of veterans with everything from equipment, business plans, financial advice and training.”
Along with the help of local, state and national agricultural leadership, FVC has strong partnerships with Farm Credit, American Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union and National AgrAbility Project. Farm Credit and Kubota Tractor Company are Diamond sponsors of the conference.
The conference kicks off with a Texas-style dinner of Wagyu beef raised by Army Ranger Josh Eilers. “Josh is one of nearly 2,000 veteran farmers and ranchers who use the Homegrown By Heroes label to promote their product,” said O’Gorman. “We are looking forward to a real Texas barbeque.”
Farmer Veteran Coalition is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization assisting veterans—and currently serving members—of the U.S. Armed Forces to embark on careers in agriculture by providing them with education, resources and small grants to launch their own farming operation or find employment in farming. Established in 2008, Farmer Veteran Coalition’s network of more than 13,000 veteran members from all 50 states and U.S. Territories are served by mentors in the areas of agricultural production, law, business planning and career counseling, the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, and the nationally recognized Homegrown By Heroes label for veteran-grown products. Learn more at: www.farmvetco.org.