Enfield, Conn. —Farm Credit East honors veterans who have served in the U.S. military. As veterans come home from service, many are returning to rural communities and some even pursuing careers in agriculture, either starting new farm ventures or joining existing operations. These veteran farmers are an important part of the future of agriculture in the Northeast.
“As a nation we admire the dedication and sacrifice that our veterans have shown,” said Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO. “As they return home, that same devotion is being applied towards careers in agriculture. Their character and the unique skills they bring to the field will only help to strengthen agriculture here in the Northeast.”
There are a number of programs available to assist veterans interested in entering agriculture. Farm Credit East recently provided a $5,000 grant to the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) to expand their efforts in the Northeast. FVC works with veterans looking to get involved in agriculture, by matching veterans with mentors, and helping with financial management and business planning. In early 2015 Farm Credit East will partner with FVC to host a farmer veteran workshop to cover business planning for ag startup businesses and provide networking opportunities for these new farmers.
This past spring, the Homegrown by Heroes program was launched. This marketing initiative, administered by FVC, allows farmers and/or agricultural producers who have served in any branch of the U.S. military to use the Homegrown by Heroes logo on their agribusiness signage and /or agricultural products.
In addition, Farm Credit East offers a number of programs and incentives to help new veteran farmers get their business off the ground. Our Young, Beginning, Small and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Incentive program (YBSV) offers discounts on services such as farm accounting software, tax preparation, consulting and appraisal for up to five years. These customers also receive discounts on FSA guaranteed loan fees and interest rate assistance. Farm Credit East also offers FarmStart, LLP, a program to assist farmers in the early stages of their business when the demands for capital and financial management skills often make it difficult to establish their business. For more information on both of these programs, visit FarmCreditEast.com.