Fifty-percent funding increase will connect military veterans to opportunities to succeed in farming
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced the recipients of $300,000 in Veterans in Agriculture Grants to connect military veterans to opportunities in farming. Adjutant General of Pennsylvania Major General Mark Schindler joined Redding to make the announcement during Military Appreciation Day at the 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Funding for Veterans in Agriculture Grants has seen a 50% increase during the Shapiro Administration Grants of $200,000 were awarded to PA Veteran Farming Network, a statewide organization, and $100,000 to Community Partnership, Inc., serving Butler County, to provide funding to military veterans to establish or expand farming operations to make them more profitable and sustainable.
"Two percent of Americans feed us, and two percent of Americans protect us," said Secretary Redding. "The Shapiro Administration is deeply grateful to those who have bravely served our country. We are proud to support these heroes by connecting them with opportunities to grow and succeed in agriculture."
"We are grateful to Secretary Redding and the Department of Agriculture for continuing to recognize and support veteran farmers," said Maj. Gen. Schindler. "Our country, and all Pennsylvanian's lives, are better thanks to your service in and out of uniform."
The Veterans in Agriculture Grant program awards funds to organizations to support ''mini-grant'' programs for the benefit of military veterans entering or expanding farm operations or related businesses as part of its ongoing commitment to agricultural business and workforce development.
This program is made possible through the Agricultural Business Development Center, created through the PA Farm Bill to provide Pennsylvania farms and other agriculture businesses with the resources they need to grow their profits and sustain their operations. Through the 2023-24 bipartisan budget, the Shapiro Administration has increased funding for these grants to $300,000.
"On behalf of our board, members, and all of the veterans in agriculture we support, we'd like to express our sincere gratitude to Secretary Redding and our legislative leaders for their ongoing support of this and other PA Farm Bill programs. These grants have and will make real and lasting impact on grantees' farms," said PA Veteran Farming Network Executive Director Mimi Thomas-Brooker. "The Network is honored to partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in this effort to recognize that veterans who farm and feed their communities continue to serve, and that their fellow citizens support them in a meaningful way."
The Shapiro Administration supports veteran-farmers through the Homegrown by Heroes program, in collaboration between the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and the PA Preferred® program. Homegrown by Heroes helps farmer-veterans sell their locally grown products and connects consumers to a tangible way to support veteran-owned farms.
To learn more about PA Farm Bill, and other funding and support for Pennsylvania visit the Department of Agriculture's website.
For the latest Farm Show news, visit farmshow.pa.gov or follow PA Farm Show on Facebook and Instagram.
Note: Photos and captions from Military Appreciation Day at Farm Show will be available on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Photo Gallery. Photos of the grant announcement are at PAcast.
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