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AgFirst, partners come together to support veterans in agriculture

South Carolina boasts the second-highest number of farmers with military experience per capita in the nation. That’s why organizations like the Farmer Veteran Coalition of South Carolina (FVCSC) and Project Victory Gardens offer crucial support to veterans interested in starting or growing a farming operation. 

AgFirst, in collaboration with ArborOne Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit, recently sponsored the Palmetto Veterans in Agribusiness Outreach Fair, which was hosted by FVCSC and Project Victory Gardens. The event, held Feb. 24 in West Columbia, S.C., attracted nearly 100 veterans, active-duty service members and their families eager to learn more about agriculture and forge meaningful connections with other attendees and subject matter experts.

Also in attendance were state leaders such as Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers and Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Todd McCaffrey, who emphasized the invaluable skills and character veterans bring to strengthen rural communities and build sustainable food systems during the fair. 

“We partner with organizations such as Project Victory Gardens and Farmer Veteran Coalition of South Carolina to provide farmer veterans with the knowledge and resources needed to support the success of their operations,” said Sarah Jackson, ArborOne’s Chief Administrative Officer. “As a military veteran, it’s a pleasure to see us continuing to support veterans who help feed America, and it’s an honor to give back to veterans by serving on the FVCSC board.”

Last year, AgFirst established a partnership with Project Victory Gardens, which provides support to veterans transitioning to civilian life by providing agricultural skills and business expertise. Our financial support of the organization not only helps veterans build successful careers in agriculture, but it also fosters a greater sense of community and purpose. By combining agricultural skills with business acumen, these veterans are not just transitioning to civilian life — they’re making a meaningful impact in their communities. 

“Events like this one are what make the farming and veteran communities so special. Building relationships and growing in industry knowledge are keys to the success of our farmers,” said AgSouth Loan Officer Robert Pope. “With offices serving every county in South Carolina, Farm Credit is available to assist with the needs of our veteran farmers.” 

Supporting agriculture and rural communities lies at the core of Farm Credit's mission. AgFirst was proud to sponsor this event alongside our Association partners to further empower more military veterans in agriculture.

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Farm Credit Booth at Veteran Ag Fair