HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvania’s farmer-veterans have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $10,000.

Through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, the Department of Agriculture has awarded $200,000 to two veterans’ service organizations which will offer the farmer-veteran grants. Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded for various agricultural business needs ranging from food safety and biosecurity planning, to equipment, marketing, or working capital.

“This grant program is designed to recognize the great commitment of Pennsylvania’s farmer-veterans: to love and defend their country and also to serve humanity by growing the food that we all need to survive,” said Gov. Wolf. “When I created the Pennsylvania Farm Bill we included funding dedicated to this group of Pennsylvanians. It’s a ‘thank you’ for their service and a commitment to better serving their needs as they serve ours.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, Pennsylvania is home to more than 7,000 military veterans identified as agricultural producers.

“Pennsylvania’s veterans spent their military career protecting and serving others. When returning to civilian life, they bring critical skillsets and a commitment to service with them,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “We have worked hard to ensure that everyone who wants to be a part of agriculture has the opportunity to contribute without barriers. These grants are a down payment on the success of farmer-veterans in the industry, for the success of Pennsylvania.”

The farmer-veteran grants will be available through the following veterans’ service organizations:

  1. Greenforge, Inc (Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project), Greensburg (Westmoreland County)

$100,000 to provide grants up to $10,000 to eligible veteran farmer applicants for working capital for farm equipment and supplies, cost sharing, tangible marketing supplies, or other demonstrated needs in alignment with the PA Agriculture Veteran Grant Program Request for Proposals as part of the Force Multiplier Grant program.

Contact Mimi Thomas-Brooker, Project Director at 724-691-1087 or pavetsfarm@gmail.com for more information.

  1. Community Partnership, Butler (Butler County)

$100,000 to provide grants up to $10,000 to eligible veteran farmer applicants as part of their beginning farmer program to cover costs associated with working capital, equipment, supplies, and other applicable farming needs in addition to receiving on-farm education and business training support.

Contact Sandra Curry, Executive Director at 724-431-3623 or scurry@yourcapinfo.org, for more information.

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This program is available through the Agriculture Business Development Center which was created by the PA Farm Bill.