In 2015, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) adopted the national Homegrown by Heroes branding program that enables farmer veterans to market their local agricultural products by labeling them as veteran-produced. With support from Governor Hutchinson, the Department launched this program, which is administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
To participate in this free program, farmers must have veteran, active duty, National Guard or Reserve member of the United States Armed Forces status. In order to apply for Homegrown by Heroes certification, you must first belong to the Farmer Veteran Coalition and be certified through the national Homegrown By Heroes program.
You can join the Farmer Veteran Coalition here. Once this step is completed, you can join the national Homegrown by Heroes program at this link, then let us know through the Join Now link on this website.
Veterans who are a part of the program will receive an Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department-approved metal sign for their property that will list them and the property as being a part of the Homegrown by Heroes program. The sign will also list information about their service. Each sign is custom-designed for each participant.
The information provided is supplied by the producer and its listing does not imply any sponsorship or endorsement by the Department. Members are responsible for the accuracy of their listings.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas have named Madeline Fortune and Michael Suttle as the recipients of the 2021 Homegrown by Heroes scholarship program. Each was awarded $1,000 for the fall 2021 semester.
Madeline Fortune, from Stuttgart, serves in the Army National Guard and plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Fortune’s family has been farming for six generations, and she hopes to one day work with an agricultural marketing agency or agricultural service organization.
Michael Suttle retired after 20 years of service in the United States Army where he received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal. Suttle is from Camden and attends Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, studying agriculture business. In the last year he has started his own small-scale poultry and beef operation, as well as his own apiary/pollination program.
Little Rock, AR – Veterans Day Celebration, Wednesday, November 11, at Windy Hill Farms in Searcy. The event offered an opportunity for Farmer Veteran Coalition – Arkansas Chapter and Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes members, other farmer-veterans, and program partners to network and share information.
The Veterans Day Celebration was the first official meeting of the Arkansas Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) which was established in May 2020 with 410 current members. The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) is a non-profit organization that helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture and serves a network of over 20,000 veteran members nationwide. FVC works with the agricultural community, partners, and sponsors to support those who served our country once by defending it, and now serve a second time as farmers feeding it.
During the event, official Arkansas Grown Homegrown By Heroes personalized signs were presented by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward to new members, Jumpmaster Ranch LLC in Independence County and Queen Bee Apiary in Greene County. Homegrown By Heroes scholarships recipients, Taylor Brandt and Gavin Sparks, also were recognized.