2020 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Application

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Please read this page carefully as it has instructions for the application. 

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. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 to purchase equipment or supplies that will support your farm business.  The application process is extremely competitive and submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Application Process:

It will be helpful to have the following information available during the process: military service history, educational background, farming history, business and financial plans, short term and long term goals. The application process can take 1-2 hours to complete. It is strongly recommended that you write your responses in a Word document on your computer, and save the document often. Copy and paste the text over to the application. This will prevent losing information in the case of a technological malfunction. 

Previous recipients of the Fellowship award are not eligible to apply in 2020. Previous Tractor Supply gift certificate awardees are invited to apply. 

Eligibility Requirements:

·         Applicants must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, currently be on active-duty, or serving in the military reserve/National Guard.

·         Applicants must be members of FVC (you can join for free at farmvetco.org)

·         Applicants must have an honorable discharge (other characters of discharge may be accepted on a case-by-case basis). Active duty or reserve members need a command support letter.

·         Applicants must have an agricultural business in operation, and submit a business plan.

·         Applicants must be willing to fully participate in the Fellowship Program, which includes reporting progress, capturing photos of the purchase, and mentoring aspiring veteran farmers if needed.

·         Applicants must have a desire to continue to serve others and make a positive impact on the farmer veteran community. 

Each applicant will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

·         Farm Training, Experience, and/or Transferable skills.

·         Personal Investment in the farm business.

·         Strategic and succinct funding request that will help the business grow in the long term.

·         Vision and goals for the future of the business. 

·         Community involvement.

Documents Required: (uploaded in a digital file format as a word document, PDF or JPEG)

·         Documentation of military service. All discharged service members must provide their most recent DD-214 that includes character of service (Member 4). Active, Reservist, or National Guard applicants must provide a command support letter.

·         A business plan, outlining the business you currently operate and future business goals. Minimum one page and maximum five page business plan. If your business plan is longer than 5 pages, please submit the 5 pages that will give an overview of your business, sales, and goals. 

·         The application includes a short essay question exploring the following areas: motivation and experiences that led to launching your business and education and career ambitions in agriculture. Minimum one paragraph, maximum one page. 

Fellowship Expectations:

·         Purchases are always made through third party vendors and must be directly related to building your agricultural business. If awarded a Fellowship, you must follow FVC's purchasing procedures. 

·         As part of your role as a Fellow, we may ask you to become a peer mentor to other farmer veterans and/or become an ambassador of the Farmer Veteran Coalition to assist in promoting our mission.

·         You will be expected to provide periodic business and progress reports when requested.

·         You will be expected to maintain a high moral character while representing FVC in the community.


In addition to funding, Fellows receive:

·         Access to peer mentors, business planning assistance, and the farmer veteran community.

·         Opportunities to become a peer mentor for other farmer veterans.

·         A profile story featuring your agricultural business on the Farmer Veteran Coalition website, social media and newsletters- including links to your website and Facebook page if desired. 


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Questions marked with a red asterisk are required in order to successfully submit this form. The next section of the application will appear after this section is filled out. 

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*Having a criminal record will not necessarily exclude you from the application process.

Military Service Questions

Please enter as: MM/DD/YYYY

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You do not need to have a VA rating to apply.

Agriculture Questions

This information is not reported to any external agencies.

Fellowship Questions


Award Questions
Farming Fellows can be awarded a grant worth up to $5,000. Fellows do not receive a direct payment. Purchases must be durable and sustainable in order that they will make a lasting impact on your agricultural business.If awarded, you will submit one invoice for your requested item and payment will be made to the vendor. 

Please upload your responses to all three questions in a single Microsoft Word document, a maximum of 1 page. 


(Note: Your responses will be rated solely on content, not format and spelling.)

Describe how your military service has helped you in the food and farming industries. 

What knowledge, skills, values, and life experience will you bring to your business? 

Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your agricultural goals.