INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 29, 2016) – The Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s (ISDA) Indiana Grown initiative announced today the Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes program, which gives Hoosiers a new, tangible way to support local veterans with an agriculture business. Governor Mike Pence attended the announcement at the Indiana War Memorial and was joined by ISDA Director Ted McKinney and representatives from Indiana Grown, as well as from the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Indiana’s Department of Veteran Affairs and more.
“Helping our Hoosier veterans, who have selflessly served our state and nation, is a pillar of my administration,” said Governor Pence. “As our economy continues to grow, the Homegrown by Heroes program will help ensure that our Hoosier heroes have every opportunity to succeed when they return home from serving our state and nation. After putting their lives on the line for our freedom, helping them achieve success in their civilian affairs is the least we can do.”
The Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes program gives local producers who have served in the military the opportunity to use an exclusively-designed logo on their business signage and/or product labels. This will help consumers who wish to show their support easily identify products made by Hoosier veterans.
“Indiana Grown is proud of have members of the military as part of the program, and we welcome others to join,” McKinney said. “With this new distinction, we are giving back and supporting those who have served our country, and continue to serve by providing quality agricultural products to Hoosiers.”
Homegrown By Heroes is a national program administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition and has grown to include more than 250 members in 43 states, including Indiana. The program not only supports members of the military while working to address the veteran unemployment rate, which continues to rest above the national average, but also uplifts the agriculture industry.
During the announcement today, the first official members of the Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes were accepted into the program. They received a certificate as well as a banner with the logo to display at their operation.
- Sara Creech, Blue Yonder Organic Farm, in North Sale
- Zachary Morris, Freebird Farm and Homestead, in Walton
- Jesse Andrew, The Pines Farm, in West Point
- Cadel Crowl, Crowl Cattle, in Lafayette
- Alan McKamey, Heritage Meadows Farm, in Clayton
- Steve Carrell, Ponderosa Aqua Farm, in Spencer
- Elias Donker, Red Hawk Hill Farm, in Terre Haute
“I’m thrilled to be in my home state launching a new chapter of Homegrown By Heroes and celebrating the program partnership with Indiana Grown,” said Sara Creech, owner of Blue Yonder Organic Farm. “As a veteran and local agriculture business owner, I see great value in the Homegrown By Heroes program and look forward to seeing its impact on my fellow veterans and Indiana Grown members.”
To be eligible for the Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes logo, the producer must meet all Indiana Grown membership criteria, as well as the following:
- Have veteran, active duty, National Guard or Reserve member of the U.S. Armed Forces status, without regard to age or era of duty;
- Provide a copy of their Department of Defense Form 214 or equivalent;
- Have characterization of service of Honorable or General (under Honorable conditions);
- Provide a letter of support from their commanding officer or designated representative attesting to their service under honorable conditions if they are an active duty member; and
- Maintain 50 percent or greater veteran ownership of their business or operation and 50 percent or greater veteran management control.
For more information on Indiana Grown and the Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes program, or to apply for membership, please click on the Join tab on this website or contact Suzi Spahr at 317-234-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ABOUT INDIANA GROWN
Developed and supported by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), the Indiana Grown Initiative educates consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products, helps Indiana farmers and producers sell more products and supports Indiana processers in their effort to process more Indiana Grown products. Indiana Grown members and partners include farmers, producers, processors and artisans, as well as retailers, grocers and restaurants. For more information about this free program, visit www.IndianaGrown.org.
ABOUT HOMEGROWN BY HEROES
Originated in Kentucky, Homegrown By Heroes is a marketing program that provides a distinctive label that farmer veterans may affix on their agricultural products to be displayed to the consumer at point of sale. The label informs consumers that a veteran who served our country in the military produced the product in the U.S. With the help of FVC, Homegrown By Heroes will positively influence the way consumers think and feel when purchasing agricultural products. For more information, visit www.farmvetco.org/homegrown-by-heroes.
Indiana State Department of Agriculture