The Homegrown By Heroes marketing initiative will afford farmers and/or agricultural producers located within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and who have served in any of the branches of the United States Military (U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard) the ability to use the Homegrown By Heroes logo on their agribusiness signage and/or agriculture products. This distinctive logo will serve as identification to prospective consumers that the products were locally grown or raised by a veteran. From the grocery shelf to the farmers' market to on-line retail, this label will hopefully serve as an extra incentive to consumers when making a purchase decision.
Goals for Homegrown By Heroes
• Provide Kentucky farmers who served in the military distinctive marketing/branding power to their locally grown and raised agriculture products at the point of sale.
• Afford consumers the opportunity to identify agriculture products produced by Kentucky Proud veteran-farmers at the point of sale.
• Afford consumers the opportunity to support Kentucky Proud veteran-farmers by identifying and purchasing their agriculture products at the point of sale.
Homegrown By Heroes™ Membership Eligibility and Logo Usage Guidelines
The following information is applicable only to individuals and parties interested in becoming members of the Homegrown By Heroes™ program that is administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture or individuals and parties interested in using the Homegrown By Heroes™ logo that features the Kentucky Proud™ logo. Individuals and parties interested in becoming members of the national Homegrown By Heroes™ program or individuals and parties interested in using the national Homegrown By Heroes™ logo must contact the Farmer Veteran Coalition (www.farmvetco.org) and comply with their program requirements.
Not a Kentucky Proud Member?
Kentucky Proud Member Information
Dan and Amy Clare's journey to participation in the Homegrown by Heroes program began in a foreign land.
How did an Air Force investigator from southern California end up an alpaca farmer in central Kentucky?
Kentucky Proud Jobs For Vets
This program is a strategic partnership initiative between the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and USA Cares, a Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing financial and advocacy support to military members, veterans, and their families since 2003. KDA and USA Cares established this initiative to match veterans who have served in any of the branches of the United States Military (U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard), ranging from Vietnam to post-9/11 service, needing good jobs with Kentucky-based farmers and agribusinesses needing quality labor. The initiative will be expanded to other veterans' services organizations to ensure that all military veterans and active members of the Kentucky National Guard have the opportunity to participate. Any Kentucky Proud farm or agriculture-related business is eligible to participate. Jobs in this program may be full time, part time or seasonal.
Goals for Kentucky Proud Jobs for Vets:
• To match farmers needing quality labor with veterans needing immediate employment.
• To provide veterans an open gate to a career in Kentucky agriculture. This initiative will provide veterans who are considering a career in agriculture with "On-the-Job" agriculture training so they will just not have a job, but an exciting and unique career skill set. At the same time, this initiative will provide Kentucky Proud members the unique opportunity to become "mentors" by teaching agriculture-specific skill sets to veterans. This, in turn, will spur a new generation of Kentucky farmers while at the same time aiding in the preservation of Kentucky's farm heritage.
• To provide consumers the ability to support Kentucky Proud farms and agribusinesses that are actively hiring veterans.
Are you looking for work in the agriculture industry?
Contact www.usacares.org for more information
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky initiative to identify farm products produced by veterans will become a national brand, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced on Veterans Day at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. The Farmer Veteran Coalition will administer the Homegrown by Heroes program on the national level. At Monday's announcement, the Farm Credit System announced a $250,000 commitment to fund the national program. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Reps John Yarmuth and Andy Barr, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer all spoke in support of the program.
"From the day we started Homegrown by Heroes, it was my intention to take it national so it can benefit veterans from every state," Commissioner Comer said. "Today, I am pleased to announce that intention is becoming a reality with the help of our generous partners. This is something we in agriculture can do to show our respect and appreciation for our military veteran farmers across the United States." The Farmer Veteran Coalition, based in Davis, Calif., helps veterans develop careers in agriculture through collaborations of the agricultural and military communities. "The veterans we work with have served their country twice — once by defending it, and now by feeding it," said Michael O'Gorman, executive director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. "When Kentucky became the first state to honor them for that service in the marketplace, we were anxious to see every farmer veteran in America get that same recognition." "Many of the men and women who serve proudly in our military come from America's rural areas and small towns," said Everett M. Dobrinski, board chairman for CoBank and director for the Farm Credit Council board. "The Farm Credit System has a mission to serve rural America. By supporting the expansion of the Homegrown by Heroes effort, we hope to increase economic opportunity for those veterans who choose to return to agriculture and, in doing so, help our rural communities thrive."
Farm Credit's contribution to the Farmer Veteran Coalition's Homegrown by Heroes program was made possible by the generous support of Agribank of St. Paul, Minn.; AgFirst of Columbia, S.C.; CoBank of Denver, Colo.; and Farm Credit Bank of Texas, based in Austin. "I have the honor today to be the proudest Kentucky Proud farmer," said farmer/veteran Michael Lewis of Berea, director of Growing Warriors, which helps veterans get started in farming. "The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has, and will continue to, create opportunities for family farmers in Kentucky. Now, with this partnership, that opportunity is going to cross borders and create economic opportunities for farmer/veterans in other states, and for that, I am exceedingly grateful." Commissioner Comer launched Homegrown by Heroes in January as a brand that identifies agricultural products produced by Kentucky military veterans, providing an incentive for consumers to buy those products and for retailers to stock them on their store shelves. "I've never seen anybody clean up a mess and get on offense and come up with new and effective things to do faster than Commissioner Comer," Sen. McConnell said. "I'm here basically to salute you, Commissioner, for the great job that you are doing and thank all of our veterans, particularly those who are going into agriculture, for all you do." "With this partnership, we are ensuring that Homegrown by Heroes extends beyond the borders of Kentucky and beyond my time as agriculture commissioner," Comer said. "Farmer/veterans from Maine to California, and from this day forward, will be able to use this brand to tell consumers that someone who served in defense of our country made that product. And consumers can say 'Thank you for your service' by buying that product and helping that veteran make a living on the farm."