Military Boots to Farm Roots

By Gary Matteson
July 14, 2015

Jana and Damon Helton have turned a vision into a farm business reality. A few years ago the couple completed the Armed to Farm program at the National Center for Appropriate Technology, a non-profit that champions small-scale, local, and sustainable farming solutions. Now they are in Northwest Arkansas raising pastured poultry and a passel of kids. As a military veteran, Damon found the help he needed through a farmer veteran program, then took his idea to Farm Credit. Take a couple minutes to see the video story:


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.