Homegrown By Heroes

By Gary Matteson
May 29, 2015

The Homegrown By Heroes program allows former service men and women to add the Homegrown By Heroes logo to their farm products’ packaging and signage. The label identifies products from agricultural businesses owned by veterans, allowing consumers to choose to actively support military veterans through their buying decisions.

Homegrown By Heroes is a straightforward way to help farmer veterans add value to their agricultural products.  But how do you take a great idea for a product identity campaign and turn it into something useful, something known in the marketplace?

That’s the challenge that Farm Credit has taken on—supporting the nationwide start-up and promotion of the Homegrown By Heroes label.  We’re helping the Farmer Veteran Coalition turn Homegrown By Heroes into a household name by starting with what we know best:  the farmers of this country.  Local Farm Credit Associations around the country have invited scores of Homegrown by Heroes members, farmer veterans, and Farm Credit staff who are veterans to come to Washington, DC to meet with Members of Congress at a reception on June 2, 2015.

Our objective is to show Members of Congress that farmer veterans are now serving their country in a new way, growing a variety of local foods and agricultural products that feed us while bringing economic activity to our rural communities.

Our goal is to salute the veterans to whom we owe so much, who are part of our rural communities, who are farm business owners, who are our valued friends and neighbors.

About Gary Matteson
Gary Matteson knows agriculture first hand. Until recently he was a small farmer operating a greenhouse business in Epsom, New Hampshire. Matteson now works at the Farm Credit Council, the trade association for the nationwide Farm Credit System. He is an advocate for young, beginning, small, and minority farmer outreach programs. Matteson is responsible for spreading best practices for beginning farmer lending and training among Farm Credit Associations, generating new program ideas to benefit them. In addition to working directly with farm groups, Matteson is active in policy related to new entrants to farming. He now serves on the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.