Newsletter – November 2014

Newsletter – November 2014


Farmer-Vets at Slow Food, Italy

Women veterans, some who raise Navajo sheep and llamas, others who coax bees, broccoli and carrots, or teach children the craft of gardening and the taste of real food, took their stories to share with audiences.

Matthew Raiford (Army veteran, executive chef, farmer and star of Ground Operations) carried the flag for the American delegation at Terra Madre — a gathering of food producers from all over the world — celebrating the unique food soveriegnty of peoples from every tradition.

Read the Good News!
Celebrate Veterans Day with Us at Slow Money in Louisville, KY

We are honored to be showing Ground Operations on Veterans Day at Slow Money: A Local & Global Gathering on Food, Investing & Culture.

This is where the rubber meets the road in terms of people willing to fund as if “food, farms and fertility matter.” Investors hear culinary entrepreneurs pitch their businesses, people strategize, they fund new projects and everyone eats great food.

The Best of the Best speakers:

The outrageous Joel Salatin, farmer-author of Everything I Want to Do is Illegal will open the festivities.

Dr. Vandana Shiva, Physicist & world-renowned activist for Seeds, Soil & Sustainability brings her wit & wisdom.

Truly, the list of speakers & sessions is staggering in the calibre of people going.  Are you coming?   Join us!

Want to help us go viral?

 If you’ve seen Ground Operations, we need your strong sentence or passionate paragraph about the film.

We need about 40-50 reviews, each, for iTunes and Google Play to put Ground Ops on their “recommended” lists.


Review on iTunes
Review on Google Play
Tyler Boggs (Army), Heart2Heart Farm, Portland OR
Getting Young Farm Families onto the Land

The number one question we get from veterans about farming is:  How can I get affordable land?

I think we’ve hit some kind of tipping point about helping veterans going into sustainable agriculture.   I just returned from the Farmland, Food & Livable Communities conference hosted by the American Farmland Trust (they protect valuable farmland). There was so much discussion about how to give beginning farmers and ranchers affordable access to land. Veterans, in particular, are a part of that conversation.

Consider Iroquois Valley Farms (Impact investments in agriculture). They have the Young Farmer Land Access program, where Iroquois investors will work with a young organic farmer to find the right piece of farmland; buy it for them and then lease it back at very favorable terms for the new farmer. The goal is to make it affordable to keep you on the land. It’s a beginning farmer’s dream.

            M/M Ben Riker (Army), James Lake Farm, WI

Delaware has a Young Farmers Loan program that offers a 30-year (get this) NO INTEREST loan for 70% of the appraised value of the property, up to $500K.  Marylands Frederick County (50 miles from DC) has a “Critical Farms Program” that will provide up front funding to buy a minimum of 50 acres to protect the most threatened agricultural lands from development.  New York has the Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Program in 15 counties that partners with local land trusts. California (San Francisco) is offering city property owners Ag tax rates if they’ll dedicate urban lots for farming for a minimum of 5 years. Kentucky has two programs for beginning farmers, one with a 2% loan for 40 years. Ohio (Cleveland) has an urban Ag overlay for zoning.  The NRC will fund fencing for rotational grazing of livestock operations and 90% funding for conservation practices. The list goes on, this is just what I was able to take notes on.

When I get a moment to collect my notes, I’ll blog more completely on the resources garnered at the conference.

Rent or Own Today on Digital Download

Come on down for the first ever national gathering solely committed to strengthening and expanding the community of veterans in agriculture and all the ancillary groups, businesses and agencies who want to help them get started.This is going to be one heck of a fun time, along with spectacular networking opportunities and heavy-hitting speakers with specific information for farmer-veterans.  If you ever wanted to know more about this movement or meet like-minded souls, this is it!


Ground Ops will begin filming interviews with the veterans who are receiving the Homegrown by Heroes  label, at the upcoming national conference for the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
Learn More!


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