Farmer Veteran Coalition, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization assisting military veterans embarking on careers in agriculture, will host its 2018 Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference November 15-17 at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.
For the fourth year, veterans from around the country will come together with the farm groups, nonprofits, and government agencies that support them, for three days of distinguished speakers, special guests, expert panels, educational tracks and networking with fellow farmer veterans. The purpose of the conference is to enhance collaboration between the veteran and agriculture communities, connect farmer veterans with education and resources, and celebrate the contributions of veterans to American agriculture while fostering a nationwide network of farmer veterans.
“Our national conference is a great opportunity for veterans to leave the geographic isolation of their farm and spend time networking and learning with other veterans,” said FVC Executive Director and Founder Michael O’Gorman. “Veterans not only gain important knowledge at these conferences, they gain a sense of community. That can help sustain them in the hard work that lies ahead.”
This year’s conference, themed ‘From the Heartland,’ features the popular Successful Farmer Veterans Panel and Government Partners Panel. The Successful Farmer Veterans Panel presents five veterans who have taken distinct paths to find success in their farming endeavors, while the Government Partners Panel brings together high-level officials from USDA, Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration to discuss policies affecting farmer veterans and includes a Q&A session.
On the second day of the conference, 50 veterans representing all 50 states will take part in a special sunrise flag-raising ceremony at the National Agriculture Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The flag-raising ceremony, which will be attended by ranking military and government officials, will pay homage to the American farmer and those who have defended their freedom.
The confirmed lineup of keynote speakers includes: Chris Chinn, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau; Bill Ashton, USDA Military and Veterans Agriculture Liaison; Lt. Col. Keith Wilson, Regional Director for US Army Soldier for Life; and researcher Karen Besterman-Dahan, Ph.D., R.D., from the VA’s Center of Innovation on Disability & Rehabilitation Research.
For more information about attending or supporting the Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference, please visit: https://www.farmvetco.org/kansascity/.