Southwest Georgia Farm Credit supports local farmer veterans at Washington D.C. event
Published 5:56 pm Friday, June 5, 2015
Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, a Farm Credit cooperative that supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, actively supports local military veterans who are farming and ranching. From a Farm Credit sponsored event on Capitol Hill highlighting the contributions of farmer veterans, to partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s Homegrown By Heroes program, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit celebrates and recognizes opportunities for local veterans in rural America.
“Southwest Georgia Farm Credit’s support of farmer veterans goes beyond providing financial assistance,” said Richard S. Monson, Chief Executive Officer. “By providing tools and resources, increasing community awareness, investing in programs and promoting events, we aim to give back to veterans and help them succeed.”
Nationally, Farm Credit hosted an event on Capitol Hill on June 2 to showcase the contributions of farmer veterans and celebrate the success of the Homegrown By Heroes program.
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The event was presented by Farm Credit in collaboration with the House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R–TX–11) and Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson (D–MN–7).
The Farmer Veteran Coalition recognizes the commitment of rural Americans to military service with the goal of developing viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.
Homegrown by Heroes is a product labeling program that identifies, promotes and supports agricultural products grown and raised by U.S. veterans and those still serving in any branch of the U.S. military. This program was launched nationally by the Farmer Veteran Coalition in 2014 with funding from Farm Credit. In the last year, the program has grown to include more than 165 farmers and ranchers across 43 states comprising $15 million in annual sales, with membership nearly doubling in the last three months.
“We owe our veterans a debt that we can never repay,” said Chairman Conaway. “When we purchase products with the Homegrown By Heroes label, we are able to at least show our appreciation for the enormous sacrifices that they have made.”
Veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities, and food production offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits to those veterans.
At a time when Post-9/11 veterans are experiencing a 7.2 percent unemployment rate (compared to the national average of 5.4 percent), agriculture can be a meaningful solution for veterans returning home and looking to provide for their families.
Southwest Georgia Farm Credit recognizes that veterans are vital to the success of rural communities.
Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, headquartered in Bainbridge, is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its member-borrowers. It provides farm loans for land, equipment, livestock and production, as well as rural home mortgages. It is part of the national Farm Credit System, a network of financial cooperatives established in 1916 to provide a dependable source of credit to farmers and rural America. For more information, visit SWGAFarmCredit.com.