FVC Community – in our 10 years of operating the Fellowship Fund, you have been the reason we have been able to support these veterans embarking on their new agricultural mission. We are so grateful. It truly has been humbling, and it's been our greatest honor - people helping people feed our country.
We are looking to you for help now more than ever.
These farmer veterans are selfless and service-minded. Their stories are downright inspirational. They ask for very little, so we are here telling you what they need us to do for them.
Now is the moment of greatest concern for our members with small, independent farms.
Our veterans put their lives on the line to protect us. Now their livelihoods are on the line.
Yet we also see this time of uncertainty as a moment of great opportunity.
People – all of us – have to eat. There are many things we can let go of, but that is not one. We will need our farmers to keep us healthy through this crisis and we will need them to help us rebuild our economy when we come out of this crisis.
We have identified the single best way to help our farmer veterans with their agricultural endeavors – and it’s been the same since we launched it in 2011 – the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund.
For hundreds of members already, this small grant (for a piece of crucial equipment ranging $1,000-$5,000) has made the difference in their livelihood.
This money does not benefit FVC; it goes to benefit the farmers directly.
Applications flooded in for our 2020 Fellowship Fund. We just received 452 of them. The most ever in our history. Of this group, at least 77% have deployed, including 30 individuals who have deployed more than 6 times each, and 17 individuals deployed more than 9 times each. An overwhelming 68% have a service connected disability.
We can’t possibly turn these people away. And while we simply can’t award every worthy candidate, we are actively fundraising to help as many as possible. This year, more than ever, our help together can the catalyst for a veteran’s dream of becoming a farmer.
These faces - this is a collection of just a small select few that you have enabled us to help with a Fellowship Fund grant in past years. Without our financial assistance, the launch of their farming operation may not have been possible.
Each face has a story to tell. A story of military service, a story of agricultural service. They share with us on a regular basis their extreme gratitude for receiving the grant and they share what it means for their operation.
If there is anyone who can adapt and overcome, it’s our veteran and our farmers. We are so proud; already during this tenuous time many of them have quickly taken action to implement new innovative ways to make fresh food more accessible to their local communities.
Our job is to help them continue to do just that.
Our greatest honor is adding to this growing collection of recipients. Let’s add more faces. More stories. Let’s together see how many more veterans we can help on their new mission to feed us and our country.
They are the future of American Agriculture.