Press Releases

Ben Shaffar and Alvina Maynard

Ben Shaffar, director of business development for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Alvina Maynard, a founding member of Homegrown By Heroes and owner/operator of River Hill Ranch in Madison County, Kentucky, hold a commemorative check for $1,000 from the Kentucky Derby Festival to the Farmer Veteran Coalition for the Homegrown By Heroes program.


Homegrown By Heroes receives donation from Kentucky Derby Festival


For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
For more information contact:
Ted Sloan
(502) 564-1138

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby Festival gave a helping hand to a national veterans organization at the Kentucky Proud WineFest Farm to Table Dinner on Tuesday in Louisville.

Before a crowd of more than 100 at the sold-out dinner, the KDF presented a check for $1,000 to the Farmer Veteran Coalition to support the Homegrown By Heroes program. The coalition, in turn, awarded $1,000 to farmer/veteran Alvina Maynard, a founding member of Homegrown By Heroes, to go toward improvements at Maynard’s River Hill Ranch, an alpaca operation in Madison County, Kentucky.

As part of its continuing partnership with Kentucky Proud, the KDF has purchased an estimated $48,000 of Kentucky Proud and Homegrown By Heroes products for this year’s festival.

“We appreciate the sacrifices our veterans made for our country, and we want them to have every opportunity to engage in a prosperous and rewarding agriculture career,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “We applaud the Kentucky Derby Festival’s donation to Homegrown By Heroes, and we appreciate all they do to showcase Kentucky Proud products.”

Maynard said the award from the Farmer Veteran Coalition will go toward installing pasture fencing on her ranch, which raises alpacas for meat and fiber.

“With so many deserving veterans, I am absolutely honored and humbled that I was selected,” Maynard said.

Homegrown By Heroes is a brand that designates farm products produced by veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture launched the brand in January 2013, and the program went national the following Veterans Day. The national program is administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition, a Davis, California, organization that helps veterans find careers in agriculture.
For more information about Homegrown By Heroes, go to