The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.
The application for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund opens once per year at which time eligible veterans are given four weeks to submit a fully completed application.
Once the application period ends, an advisory panel of agricultural industry professionals convenes to review submissions. The application review process can take up to two months with awardees usually being notified in the spring.
Fellowship recipients have six months to use their award.
Upon notification of their award, Fellowship recipients may begin seeking out third-party vendors to make their purchase. All third-party vendors must be approved by the Fellowship Fund manager prior to purchase.
After an approved third-party vendor has been selected, the Fellowship Fund manager makes the payment on the farmer veteran’s behalf.
The application, which consists of both short answer and essay questions, is comprised of five main focus areas: military service, educational background, prior farming experience, business and financial planning, and short-term and long-term goals.
Applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Farm training/experience and/or transferable skills
- Personal investment in their farm business
- Strength of funding request and ability to show how an award will help grow their farm business
- Vision and goals for the future of their business
- Community involvement
- A business plan
- Proof of service
For more information or to apply, visit the fellowship website, or contact the Farmer Veteran Coalition by email or phone (530-756-1395).