(Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont president Mark Bowen visits the Plew Farm.)
MONTPELIER, Vt. – On Veterans Day, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is proud to salute those who served our country in uniform. Many veterans find farming rewarding and healing work, allowing vets to serve our country in a new capacity. Vermont’s hardworking vets are a welcome addition to the workforce, helping to support agriculture and our food systems.
The Agency is a member of the Vermont Farmer Veteran Coalition (VFVC) and has partnered with Homegrown By Heroes, a program raising awareness of products produced by military veterans. Currently, the program has expanded to include more than 1,100 members in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico. You can find the “Vermont Proud Homegrown by Heroes” label at farm stands, farmers’ markets and in stores across Vermont.
The Vermont Farmer Veteran Coalition has an active presence in our working landscape, promoting veterans to help feed Vermont. The group also provides veterans with educational and internship opportunities, assistance with land acquisition through federal and state programing, peer to peer mentorship, and an appropriate re-integration back into the civilian sector through ecological land stewardship.
The Vermont Farmer Veteran Coalition has seen success thanks to a collaborative team that includes the Vermont VA, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Sterling College, NOFA-Vermont, High Mowing Seeds, our Congressional Delegation, Farm Bureau, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Vermont Agribility, Cabot and Rural Vermont.
VAAFM is proud to support the Vermont Farmer Veteran Coalition, and will continue to work with VFVC, Veterans Affairs and other partners to create more opportunities for veterans to engage in agriculture throughout the state.