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Indiana Grown Program Expands to Include Veterans

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Indiana Grown Program Expands to Include Veterans

State officials announced on Monday that the Homegrown by Pence officially launching the Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes program.Heroes program will become part of the Indiana Grown program. “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 Program Director David King explains that food products produced in our state by veterans will now carry a special label, “Consumers will start seeing this special logo on food products in the Indiana Grown displays.” They will be distributed to retailors around the state who are showcasing locally-grown food through the Indiana Grown program.

grown-by-heroes-logo_w540Indiana currently has 475,000 veterans and many of them are farmers. While currently only 15 are involved in the Indiana Grown program, King expect this number to grow. 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.  “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.”

Relaunched last year, the Indiana grown program has seen significant growth, and King says he expects this to continue into 2016. “Indiana Grown is proud of have members of the military as part of the program, and we welcome others to join,” ISDA director Ted 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.”

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.