Homegrown By Heroes helping veterans find agricultural jobs

BLOOMINGTON - The Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Farm Bureau will host a statewide gathering for organizations that want to help military veterans seeking farming and agricultural careers on May 28.

Officials say the "Homegrown By Heroes" meeting will take place at the Illinois Farm Bureau in Bloomington from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, IDOA Director Philip Nelson, and IFB President Richard Guebert, Jr. are expected to be in attendance to kick off this statewide program.

According to Nelson, the Homegrown By Heroes program is a unique partnership between agricultural communities and the military that aimd to identify available resources to veterans seeking jobs in the agricultural field.  Officials say the Homegrown By Heroes program will include several different programs, including the following:

- Farmer training
- Farmers' markets opportunities and partnerships
- Assisting veterans in developing value-added products
- Fostering relationships with retailers and food service organizations
- Making resources available for veterans wishing to raise livestock and commodity crops
- Developing mentorships between experienced farmers and veterans
- Identifying community land access

Applications for this program will be made available on the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website on Memorial Day Weekend.  For more information, visit http://www.agr.state.il.us.
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