Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, seated at right, and Michael O'Gorman, center, executive director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, sign a Memorandum of Understanding continuing the partnership of the FVC and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture as FVC President Gary Matteson, seated at left; Ray Harris of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, standing at left; and Col. Shon Adams of the Kentucky National Guard look on. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
KDA, Farmer Veteran Coalition Extend Homegrown By Heroes Program Through 2021
Active-duty Personnel, Reservists, and National Guard Now May Participate in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE (November 9, 2017) — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles today announced an expansion of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) Homegrown By Heroes program.
At the Kentucky Agricultural Council meeting today in Louisville, Commissioner Quarles announced that the KDA has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to extend their partnership through 2021. Additionally, the KDA is expanding membership eligibility in Kentucky to allow active-duty military personnel, reservists, and National Guard members to participate in Homegrown By Heroes along with military veteran farmers.
“The inclusion of active-duty personnel in Homegrown By Heroes is long overdue,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This will encourage those who are currently serving in our military to take up farming as a career and as a way to continue their service to their country.”
The Farmer Veteran Coalition is a national organization based in Davis, California, that seeks to help veterans find employment and careers in agriculture. The KDA owns the rights to the Homegrown By Heroes name and logo, and licenses those rights to the Coalition.
Homegrown By Heroes was created by the KDA in 2013 to promote agricultural products produced by military veteran farmers. The KDA and the Coalition announced an agreement to scale the program nationally on Veterans Day 2013. The Coalition’s website, farmvetco.org, says the program has more than 1,000 members in all 50 states.