On July 2, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Agriculture Department and the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Farmers Veterans Coalition announced the Arkansas Farmer-Veteran Initiative, the Arkansas Grown - Homegrown by Heroes program.
|AR Agric. Sec. Wes Ward, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, FVC Counsel, Jason Foscolo|
The Arkansas Grown - Homegrown by Heroes program. is designed to give Arkansas veteran farmers an additional marketing tool, to encourage Veterans to pursue careers in agriculture, and to recruit more Veterans to Arkansas. Because a diverse agriculture is such an important aspect of Arkansas's economy - it has an impact of more than $20 billion annually - there are many opportunities for Veterans in Arkansas agriculture.
The program is open to any veteran and active duty, National Guard or Reserve member. Businesses or operations certified by the Homegrown by Heroes Arkansas Grown label must maintain veteran ownership of 50 percent or more. Businesses must be an approved member of the Arkansas Grown program before certification for use of the merged label.
Program requirements and benefits include:
- Products certified under the merged label must meet food safety guidelines applicable to their products in the regions in which the products are being distributed and/or sold;
- The Farmer Veteran Coalition, part of the Homegrown by Heroes program, will work with applicants to determine food safety requirements;
- The coalition's food-safety experts will help plan and execute food safety measures;
- Business planning, financial consultation and legal assistance will be provided during and after the certification process.