In Virginia, John Fant, a retired U.S. Army colonel who co-owns and operates Summerfield Heritage Farm in Grayson County, is working to connect veterans with agricultural information and resources by serving as one of the chapter’s organizers.
“When I transitioned out of the military, no one talked to me about the opportunities in agriculture,” Fant explained. “Yet we know that many veterans have skills that are critical to success in agriculture. As a veteran and a farmer, I see the opportunities for veterans in helping to feed our nation.”
When service members return from active duty, many tend to return to their rural communities. Veterans often need additional assistance in finding resources to start farm businesses.
“FVC has worked with many organizations across the nation, like the American Farm Bureau Federation, AgrAbility and Farm Credit, to gather resources targeted for veterans involved in agriculture,” Fant said. Additionally, the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition has built a larger partnership focused on helping beginning farmers be successful.
Fant is working with stakeholders to take the first steps of forming a Virginia chapter. Organizational meetings will be held in different parts of the state starting in December.
To learn more about the coalition, visit facebook.com/