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New Grant Cycle Opens to Fund Farmer Veterans
USAgNet - 01/14/2021

One piece of equipment changed it all. Ben Martin of Forest Grove, Oregon, served in the Marine Corps. After returning home from war, he pursued a career in winemaking. Ben credits a grant from Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) for making the difference in his budding wine business early on. Back in 2015, FVC awarded Ben the supplies needed to bottle his first vintage of wine.

"We were just starting out making wine in the back of a horse barn," acknowledged Ben. "We had no sales, no exposure. And we needed to bottle the vintage of wine. But we had no bottles, corks, or labels. FVC stepped in and gave us a grant for the supplies.

If it weren't for FVC we wouldn't have...well actually, I don't know what we would have done, honestly."

Ben is not alone. A national non-profit that serves nearly 25,000 veterans turned farmers, FVC creates a new generation of farmers and food leaders while simultaneously offering veterans a place to heal on America's farms. Through education and resources, FVC helps veterans with their own farming operation or with finding employment in related agricultural professions.

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is their small grant program. It helps veterans in their early years of farming and ranching with the purchase of a piece of critical equipment. Hundreds of farmer veterans across the country who have benefitted from the grant share Ben's sentiment.

In 10 years, the Fellowship Fund has funded more than 600 veterans with $3 million in equipment.

FVC has opened the application (https://www.tfaforms.com/4870169) for their 2021 funding. This new cycle opened on the first of the year and remains active through Feb 14, 2021.

Application submissions are reviewed by an advisory committee of agricultural industry professionals. Awards will be granted in the spring. Common equipment requests include All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), breeding livestock, fencing, and tractor implements.


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