Monday, August 21, 2017

Virginia is the latest state to help military veterans promote their products with special logo

Virginia is the latest state where military veterans who are farmers can use a special logo to promote their products. The logo is a combination of the "Virginia Grown" label and the national "Homegrown by Heroes" logo. The state label has been used by farmers for 15 years to advertise locally-grown produce and products; the other logo "is the official farmer veteran brand image developed in 2013 by the national Farmer Veteran Coalition," reports the Bristol Herald Courier. Gov. Terry McAuliffe unveiled the joint logo July 26. Several states, including Arkansas and Kentucky, have also developed joint logos in the past few years.

Army Col. (Ret.) John Fant, a retired cattle rancher, is president of the new Virginia chapter of FVC. He says the logo may help encourage more young veterans to get started in farming. "From a food security perspective, the average age of a Virginia farmer is 58½ years. So as current farmers transition into retirement, we need to replace them," he says. "We think many veterans have the specific skill set to do that, and this marketing tool can help them. Anyone who’s ever sold something knows you can have a great product, but if you can’t sell, you won’t succeed."

Farmers who want to use the logo must be certified as former military personnel through FVC. The first training program for interested farmers will be Oct. 27 and 28 at Hudson Heritage Farms in Halifax County. For more information contact Rebekah Slabach of Virginia Cooperative Extension at or (434) 476-2147.

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