Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a national nonprofit organization that assists military veterans embarking on careers in agriculture, announced today the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund will begin accepting applications February 1 for the 2017 award cycle. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is the largest grant program in the country that provides direct assistance to veterans in agriculture and has awarded more than $1 million since it was established in 2011.
“The Fellowship Fund has played a vital role in the success of hundreds of farmer veterans as they establish their farming operations,” said Rachel Petitt, manager of the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. “Whether they’re just getting started, or have been farming for a few years, the fellowship provides farmer veterans with valuable equipment and resources they would not otherwise have access to. We’re excited to begin accepting applications and look forward to awarding as many farmer veterans as possible.”
Beginning at 8 a.m. PST on February 1, the 2017 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund application will be posted to the FVC website at www.farmvetco.org. Applicants will have more than six weeks to complete and submit the application. The deadline to submit an application is Monday, March 20.
The fellowship awards, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per person, are paid to third-party vendors of the awardees choosing for purchases that make the largest impact on the farmer veteran’s operation, such as livestock, fencing, tractor implements, barns and greenhouses.
Last year, 140 farmer veterans received $320,000 in awards thanks to generous support from Kubota Tractor Corporation, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Prairie Grove Farms and Prudential Financial. In addition to their financial support of the Fellowship Fund, Kubota Tractor Corporation also awards four L-Series compact tractors to farmer veterans through their “Geared to Give” program. Only farmer veterans awarded a fellowship are eligible to be selected to receive a tractor.
As the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund has grown, the application process has become increasingly competitive, with more than 200 farmer veterans submitting an application last year. Identifying the item that will have the largest impact is key to submitting a successful application, which are reviewed and selected by a team of advisors.
While there is no guarantee a fellowship will be awarded to a farmer veteran, FVC’s goal is to award as many who apply as possible. During the 2016 cycle, 20 farmer veterans who were previously denied fellowship awards were surprised with $1,000 Tractor Supply Company gift cards shortly before Christmas.
For more information about eligibility and the application process, please visitwww.farmvetco.org/about-us/our-programs/farming-fellowship/