BENEFITING: Community Partners
ORGANIZER: Farmer Veteran Coalition
EVENT: Veterans Charity Challenge
Farmer Veteran Coalition - wrote -
The mission of the Farmer Veteran Coalition is to Mobilize Veterans to Feed America.
We cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders by developing viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the food, farming and military communities.
We believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to create sustainable food systems. Growing and working with food offers purpose, opportunity, as well as physical and psychological benefits.
The Farmer Veteran Coalition was started in 2008 by Michael O’Gorman, a pioneer in America’s organic farm movement. Michael brought together members of the farming and veteran communities to help address two of the biggest issues we are facing in the agricultural industry: first, an aging farming community is sorely in need of young farmers, and, second, high unemployment rates and lack of career opportunities for the veterans that fought for us in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly those coming back home in larger numbers than the small rural communities they are returning to can handle. That is where FVC comes in; America’s agricultural community needs our veterans as much as they need us.
To this effect, we have brought together food industry leaders to address the needs of veterans pursuing farming in rural communities and in urban environments heavily affected by the economy. The Farmer Veteran Coalition works with these leaders and members of the military who are transitioning into the civilian workforce and helps them rebuild communities while securing a safe and healthy food supply. Military veterans have many skills that perfectly prepare them to be the new generation of innovative, ecological, and financially successful young farmers. Food industry leaders have farming and business skills and experience that we harness into mentorships for our returning warriors. By bringing these two groups together, our program has the ability to help veterans become successful farmers by starting businesses, buying land, and overcome disabilities in the process.