Leesburg, VA (PRWEB) July 14, 2014
Farm Credit of the Virginias, as part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, is proud to announce the national launch of the Homegrown By Heroes initiative. This program allows farmers, ranchers, fishermen and the like from all 50 states and U.S. territories who have served or are serving in any branch of the U.S. military the ability to use the Homegrown By Heroes logo on their products—a way consumers can support our country’s farmer veterans.
This initiative was kick started with a donation from The Farm Credit system last November. The Farmer Veteran Coalition, working with its partners at Farm Credit, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Farmers Union, are making their goal to have Homegrown By Heroes products household items in all 50 states.
Only 16 percent of America’s population lives in rural areas, yet 40 percent of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military come from those same rural communities. Veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities, and food production offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits to those veterans. At a time when post-9/11 veterans are experiencing a 9 percent unemployment rate (compared to the national average of 6.3 percent), agriculture can be a meaningful solution for veterans returning home and looking to provide for their families. The Homegrown By Heroes label will afford consumers the opportunity to thank a veteran for their service by purchasing their farm products.
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 of the Virginias provides over $1.5 billion dollars in financing to more than 10,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners throughout Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland. Farm Credit is a cooperative capitalized largely through investments made by farmers, ranchers and the rural homeowners and businesses that borrow from them. Farm Credit helps maintain and improve the quality of life in rural America and on the farm through its constant commitment to competitive lending, expert financial services and for facilitating and sharing knowledge and resources through the Farm Credit Knowledge Center.