This is a day we honor military veterans for their service to our country.
Nationwide, there are more than 370,000 producers with military experience. That’s nearly 11 percent of all US producers. Nationwide, veterans represent $41 billion in annual ag sales and 130 million acres farmed.
Here in South Carolina, the rates are even higher.
Around 19 percent of South Carolina farms have a principal producer who’s served in the military.
It’s important that we do more than just thank military veteran for their service. Here in South Carolina, there are some important programs that our department supports to help veterans find their next step in life and thrive.
Homegrown by Heroes: This initiative affords veteran farmers/ agricultural producers located in SC the ability to us the Homegrown by Heroes logo on their agribusiness signage and agricultural products. The logo shows consumers that the products they are using/ consuming are made by U.S. military veterans.
Palmetto Veterans in Agribusiness: Established by Project Victory Gardens to:
- Increase access to agriculture and knowledge of agricultural practices for transitioning service members.
- Provide workforce readiness opportunities for service-disabled veterans.
- Programs include:
- Farmer Bootcamp
- DoD Skillbridge internships with agribusinesses
- An Outreach Fair
- Farms of the Brave – a certification program for veteran-owned agritourism farms
Farmer Veteran Coalition: This is a national organization with a South Carolina chapter. Look them up on Facebook to join.