Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, center, gave a presentation on the Homegrown By Heroes program for officials with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday. Pictured are, from left: Cmdr. Brent J. Embry, USN, Northern Region director of the Chairman’s Office of Reintegration; Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs; Homegrown By Heroes producer Alvina Maynard of Richmond; Commissioner Comer; Homegrown By Heroes producer Danny Townsend of Jeffersonville; and Col. James P. Isenhower III, director of the Chairman’s Office of Reintegration. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Comer touts Homegrown By Heroes in meeting with Joint Chiefs officials
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
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FRANKFORT, Ky. – Agriculture Commissioner James Comer on Monday told national military officials that Homegrown By Heroes “is one small thing that we can do to show our appreciation for our military veteran farmers.”
Commissioner Comer hosted a presentation about Homegrown By Heroes for Col. James P. Isenhower III, director of the Chairman’s Office of Reintegration for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Cmdr. Brent J. Embry, USN, Northern Region director of the Chairman’s Office of Reintegration. They were joined by state Rep. Kenny Imes, R-Murray, a member of the House Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Safety; Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs; and Homegrown By Heroes producers Alvina Maynard of Richmond and Danny Townsend of Jeffersonville, Ky.
“We think agriculture is a growth industry in the state,” Commissioner Comer said. “Agriculture is a perfect fit for a lot of military veterans. We at the Department of Agriculture are going to do everything we can to help add value to what our military veteran farmers are producing.”
Commissioner Comer said the unemployment rate of veterans and reservists in Kentucky is higher than the statewide average. Comer said he and his senior staff conceived of Homegrown By Heroes as a way to use the popularity of the Kentucky Proud farm marketing program to help Kentucky veterans make a living in agriculture.
More than 80 veteran/farmers are enrolled in Homegrown By Heroes in Kentucky, Commissioner Comer said.
Over a Kentucky Proud lunch from Wallace Station in Midway, Maynard and Townsend chatted with the guests from the Pentagon about their businesses and products. Maynard operates River Hill Ranch, which raises Suri alpacas, and Townsend owns Townsend Sorghum Mill, a fifth-generation family farm that produces sorghum and vegetables.
Homegrown By Heroes is a brand that designates agricultural products produced or manufactured by Kentucky military veterans. Commissioner Comer launched the program in January 2013, and the brand went national on Veterans Day 2013. Homegrown By Heroes is administered on the national level by the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Davis, Calif.
For more information about Homegrown By Heroes, go to www.kyproud.com/veterans.