LOUISVILLE, KY. Nov. 11, 2013 – Military veterans who raise crops and livestock will now have an important new marketing tool, thanks to the national rollout of the “Homegrown By Heroes” label. The red, white and blue image provides an easy way for consumers to identify farmer veteran products and support the nation’s military veterans by purchasing their products.
The program, first developed by Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in his home state, allows farmers who served in the U.S. armed forces to add the “Homegrown By Heroes” logo to their products’ packaging and signage.
The program will be expanded nationwide through the Farmer Veteran Coalition, thanks in part to a $250,000 commitment announced today by the Farm Credit System, a national network of cooperatives that provides financing and related services to agricultural producers, agribusinesses, and rural infrastructure providers.
“Many of the men and women who serve proudly in our military come from America’s rural areas and small towns,” said Everett M. Dobrinski, board chairman for CoBank, a member of the Farm Credit System, and director for the Farm Credit Council board. “The Farm Credit System has a mission to serve rural America. By supporting the expansion of the Homegrown By Heroes effort, we hope to increase economic opportunity for those veterans who choose to return to agriculture and, in doing so, help our rural communities thrive.”
According to Michael Lewis, the first Kentucky farmer veteran to use the Homegrown By Heroes label, the program also gives retailers a message they can get behind, helping farmer veterans expand their markets.
“In the military, veterans learn key skills like strong leadership,” said Richard Davidson, a U.S. Air Force Reserve veteran who operates an Ohio grain and cattle operation, and serves as board chair for AgriBank, a member of the Farm Credit System. “With Homegrown By Heroes, we are not only recognizing veterans for their service, but we’re also helping them leverage these skills to succeed in agriculture.”
Farm Credit’s contribution to the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s “Homegrown By Heroes program was made possible with the support of Agribank (St. Paul, Minn.), AgFirst (Columbia, S.C.), CoBank (Denver, Colo.) and Farm Credit Bank of Texas (Austin, Texas).
To watch a Veteran’s Day video of Orlando Cadena, a farmer veteran, click here:
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