Homegrown By Heroes Farm to Fork Celebration Held

The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit hosted the Homegrown By Heroes Farm to Fork Celebration, Tuesday, May 21, at St. Joseph Center of Arkansas in North Little Rock.  The event offered an opportunity for Homegrown By Heroes members, other farmer-veterans, and program partners to network and share information.

Homegrown By Heroes is a branding program administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition that enables farmer veterans to market their local agricultural products by labeling them as veteran-produced.   The Arkansas Agriculture Department, with support from Farm Credit, launched the Homegrown by Heroes/Arkansas Grown program in 2015 with Governor Hutchinson.

“When consumers see a Homegrown by Heroes/Arkansas Grown sign they know the food they are purchasing was grown in Arkansas by an Arkansas veteran,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture, Wes Ward. “The Arkansas Agriculture Department appreciates Farm Credit’s support of this important program, and we are proud to honor all of the Arkansas farmer-veterans.”

During the event, Homegrown By Heroes scholarships were presented to five of the eight recipients selected in April.   Farm Credit generously provided funding for the eight $1,000 scholarships for eligible veterans, service members, and their family members.   More information about the Homegrown by Heroes scholarship program can be found here.

Official Homegrown by Heroes/Arkansas Grown personalized signs were presented to new members, Michael Sparks, owner of Honeycomb Ridge Farm, and Frenchie Young, owner of Coal Oil Trading Company.   The new Homegrown by Heroes/Arkansas Grown logo was unveiled at the event, and Farmer Veteran Coalition representative, Yani Bunch, provided details about the organization, membership and state chapters.

The event showcased products from Homegrown By Heroes members. Damon Helton catered the event, which included meat from his farm, The Farm @ Barefoot Bend. Handmade cheeses from Willowbrook Farm and microgreens from Thorn Tree Ranch were served.  Flowers for the event were provided by Fruit of the Vine farm.

To participate in the Homegrown by Heroes/Arkansas Grown program, farmers must be a veteran or currently serving as an active duty, National Guard or Reserve member of the United States Armed Forces.   Learn more by contacting Arkansas Homegrown by Heroes Program Coordinator Amy Lyman at 501-219-6376, or visit here.

The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

With more than $3.6 billion in assets, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Midsouth, and Farm Credit of Western Arkansas support rural communities and agriculture across Arkansas with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow. In Arkansas, Farm Credit associations are owned by the more than 11,000 customer-owners they serve. Through the cooperative structure, customer-owners have a voice and vote in the associations’ governance. Members also share in the cooperatives’ financial success through cooperative returns which total more than $220 million since 1997.