Counting Down the Last Moments of 2021...
Happy Holidays!

As the clock ticks down the final hours of 2021 and this year closes out, we reflect on our highlight moments. What moments made your own top list for 2021?

Our team is so proud of our year. Here are our top dozen favorite moments that we are excited to share with you! Read on below...
Wherever and however you are welcoming in 2022, our team wishes you hope, purpose, and continued gratitude in the new year.

We look forward to sharing renewed energy and new excitement together!
Major Milestones and Accomplishments:
Our 2021 in Review - Top 12
We kicked off the year with an epic virtual celebration of our 12th birthday in February.

It included a deep dive into our history by year since 2009 – featuring pivotal moments of the past, major milestones, and partners who helped us along the way.

This brought even greater meaning to our mission for all of us.
In April the Department of Veterans Affairs shared news of FVC in their newsletter – we gained 1,300 new members in 24 hours! It was a wild ride!

Then in October, we welcomed our 30,000th veteran member. We are proud to see such incredible growth in membership since year one, when we had a mere 9 members.
Also in April we launched our Advisory Panel.

We curated 10 members from around the U.S. into a panel that reflects FVC’s unique and diverse membership base – across crops and farming methods. Each panelist represents members within their region. As a farmer veteran, we value your voice and perspective and believe that this panel will produce invaluable advice, insight, and guidance to our organization.

As the calendar flipped to May, we awarded our 11th cycle of Fellowship Fund grants to our 2021 class. We shared great news with 138 farmer veterans, and deliveries to their farms began - equipment like greenhouses and grow tents, walk-in coolers and cold storage units, milking systems, water filtrations, honey extractors, even mushroom substrate steamers and copper stills. This brings our program total to over $3.5 million awarded in support of 800+ farmer veterans.

Funding was made possible by:
Kubota Tractor Corporation, Tractor Supply Company, Tractor Supply Company Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), Farm Credit, Tarter USA, Homestead Implements, Vital Farms, and even directly from other farmer veteran members in Sugar Bottom Farm and Barreras Family Farm. We were humbled to see support come full circle with these two prior Fellows funding this year's awardees.

Our sights are set high for 2022: we anticipate raising $500,000 to give out with the next Fellowship cycle. We recognize this is a lofty goal, but we are really close so it definitely feels achievable.
We welcomed 3 new state chapters to our family: Maryland, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

We anticipate more to come next year to add to our growing network of chapters, allowing us to further personalize the farmer veteran experience.
We shared the stories of several members producing maple syrup, growing hot peppers, and cultivating dairy products.

On International Womens Day, we highlighted our female farmer veterans with this photo collection and with these radio interviews courtesy of RFD-TV.
PBR (Professional Bull Riders) hosted their second Cowboys For A Cause team competition, this year aboard the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. We were honored to be the beneficiary and to have a spot on national television on Labor Day weekend!

The day prior, the event kicked off with a day of community service at several park and pantry sites throughout the city - bringing together riders, fans, partners, and PBR staff. FVC Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo joined the full weekend of action.
As our nation paused to commemorate the 20th milestone anniversary of the September 11th attacks, so did our community. In this video compilation, members reflected on what that day meant and how it impacted their lives and their service.
Our team jumped for joy when we took full ownership of the Homegrown By Heroes label in October. This was a big day for us after having managed the program nationally since 2013.

The ceremonial transfer happened at the NASDA annual meeting in Louisville, KY, with representatives from each of the 50 state departments of agricultural gathered. FVC Founder Michael O'Gorman and President of our Board of Directors Gary Matteson signed the papers.

Forward to the 7:11 minute mark of this video to watch the presentation.

Kubota Tractor Corporation for the 7th year running generously donated 5 pieces of equipment through the 'Geared to Give' program.

These were presented in special ceremonies across the country, starting on the 4th of July.

Awards went to...
Northern Division: Eric Grandon, Sugar Bottom Farm - West Virginia
Southeast Division: Tracy Robinson - Georgia
Midwest Division: Ryan Blumhagen, Ryan and McKenzie Blumhagen Farm - North Dakota
Central Division: Ben Henbest, Henbest Farms - Arkansas
Western Division: Colleen Hudspeth, Battle Cross Farm - Washington
On Veterans Day, we recognized the service of our FVC veterans with a photo gallery of 800 members in uniform. It was a true honor to feature such an extensive collection of our community.
We were thrilled to finally reunite in person this November for our Eastern regional conference in Knoxville. Our Tennessee state chapter were rockstar hosts. We saw a room full of farmer veterans eager to learn, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones.

The guest list included 8 state chapter presidents, 1 former chapter president, 3 advisory presidents, plus nearly 200 more farmer veterans, members, speakers, and sponsors.

"Enlightening", "Energetic", "Refreshing", "Camaraderie", and "Heart-warming" were a few of the words we heard used to describe the gathering.
We thank all of you who joined us for the ride.

FVC remains committed to our farmer veterans, and we recognize that we are able to do so with your support. We can't wait to begin tackling our upcoming
set of priorities, and we look forward to documenting the next dozen accomplishments of 2022.
With gratitude for all this year has brought us,
and how it's brought us together.

Natalie Monroe & Team FVC
Communications & Marketing Manager
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