Newsletter – May 2014

Newsletter – May 2014


Homegrown by Heroes

the new national label!


With Memorial Day upon us, the team at Ground Ops encourages you to join us in taking a moment of silent reflection to remember the many we’ve lost to war; and to support veterans who continue to serve their country.

The Farmer Veteran Coalition has just announced the launch of a new national label for food grown or produced by veterans. This is a game-changer!
Mark and Denise Beyers of Beyers Maple Syrup in Upstate NY have been awarded the first Homegrown by Heroes certificate (HB-101), outside of Kentucky where the label originated.   (

High school sweethearts, Mark and Denise joined the U.S. Marine Corps together. Denise served stateside while Mark deployed to Iraq where he was seriously wounded from an I.E.D.  Today, they produce maple syrup, eggs and vegetables. ( Film & Farms Tour in Planning Stages

We’re bringing the film to celebrate veteran farms and programs in 5 Midwest states this July.  We’ll be offering ticketing from the website soon ( Right now, we’re in the planning stages. Want to be on one of our Host Committees or have an idea or contact to share with us? Ground Ops attracts a diverse audience that support their local farmer-veterans and a food system that nourishes both people and planet.

7/13   Des Moines, IA – Womens’ Food & Agriculture Network; the Farmer Veteran Coalition-Iowa and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

7/15   Sauk Center, MN – Eagle’s Healing Nest (veterans’ program), American Draft Horse Association, Native tribal leaders, 4-H and others.

7/18   Madison, WI – Peacefully Organic Producer (veteran-led community farm) and the Farley Center for Peace, Justice & Sustainability.

7/19   Green Bay, WI – V.A. staff; Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (sustainable Ag degree program); WI Dept. of Workforce Veteran Coordinator

7/20   Grayslake, IL Growing Healthy People (veteran’s program); Lake County College (sustainable Ag program), Prairie Crossing Farm (incubator farm) and Veterans Family Services.

7/23   Flint, MI – Flintopia (veteran-led community permaculture farm and kitchen); the City of Flint: Green Innovation Zone and the Dept. of Veteran Services.

Hope we see you at the movies ….

Pt. Townsend Film Festival invites Ground Operations back!

How cool is a film festival that invites you back for a week of community screenings because they think your film is so important they want more people to see it?? Enter the Port Townsend Film Festival ( We did half a dozen screenings and presentations, one to the local high school media class and one on tribal lands, Jamestown S’Klallum.

PTFF hosted us to a delightful B&B, the Commanders Beach House,  right on the Puget Sound that made 5-star breakfasts. (The rhubarb coffeecake, oh my!)   PTFF Executive Director Janette Force is just that – an effervescent force of nature.

We got a private tour at the Mt. Townsend Creamery (they gave us “The Big Cheese Award” at the film festival) — where we learned the intricacies of artisan cheese making from vats of locally sourced milk (and I saw those cows… happy cows!)

To our great delight we also got a tour of Nash’s Organic Produce by his wife, Patty … Nash is a nationally acclaimed land steward, organic farmer and mentor to young farmers.
They farm over 600 acres of local lands. The place is buzzing with activity. They do it all – row crops of veggies, fruit orchards, chickens & eggs, pastured pork and even grains!!
So there we were, returning from the farm, out in the country when we hit this stop sign.  Who makes up these names?

Good Food News:  

The Center for Food Safety reports several major victories:

  1. Antibiotics will no longer be allowed in organic apple and pear production.  
  2. The state of Vermont is the FIRST state to pass an unencumbered bill that requires labeling of GMO foods.
  3. Two counties in Oregon have banned the planting of GMO crops. (Josephine & Jackson counties)
BUT …. the FDA is still proposing to expand the use of yet MORE bee-toxic pesticides!! I guess they didn’t get the memo that bees polinate 80-90% of food crops we eat.  
Who are we???
Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields is a documentary film and social action campaign that champions combat veterans who are becoming sustainable farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers. Our goal is to strengthen the veterans-in-agriculture network and increase their resources, so that they can create healthy new lives for themselves and delicious food security for us all.See the 2-minute trailer:
See KCET-Link TV 13-minute sneak preview: needs a million new farmers. Veterans want the job!


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