Presentations & Panels

Plenaries:

  Plowing Forward: The Road Ahead

11/18 - 8am PST
We welcome our community of farmer veterans and partner organizations from their own farms and office buildings across the country. The excitement of bringing everyone together under one roof is unmatched - in this case multiple barn roofs! We'll launch our gathering by introducing the leadership of FVC, both our national Board of Directors and our state chapter leaders. Outgoing Executive Director Michael O'Gorman shares his new role as Chief Agricultural Officer and passes the pitchfork in introduction to FVC's new Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo. Jeanette explores the path forward, with insight into the vision of the future of Farmer Veteran Coalition.

 

    Tough Times, Tougher Farmers: Helping You Rise to the Challenge

11/18 - 9am PST
Many of us recognize first-hand that COVID-19 has caused unprecedented upheaval in the agriculture sector. The US Department of Agriculture has been a critical partner in helping farmers rise to the challenge. We focus on USDA's support of the agricultural economy and their efforts to keep farm products flowing to markets. USDA will highlight projects, such as their rural broadband initiative, that enable farmers to adapt to the economic and societal realities of the pandemic. To wrap-up the session, USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture will announce the anticipated awarding of this year's AgVets grantees.

 

  The Cherry on Top

11/18 - 1:30pm PST
We'll put an exclamation point on the end of the first day with the insider's scoop on exciting expansion coming to our grant programs. The Fellowship Fund enters its 11th funding cycle, and we reveal new endeavors and partners on the horizon - which means new opportunities to fund your farm! Once all is said and done, please roam the virtual exhibit booths, which remain open throughout the afternoon.

 

  From Sea to Shining Sea

11/19 - 8am PST

Alabama to Wyoming, and everything in between. FVC State Chapters are businesses; the skills for their success are the same as the skills necessary to run an effective enterprise. While geared for chapter leaders, this session will enlighten both new and seasoned farmers - on upcoming surveys, “listening sessions”, and regional meetings to connect you in to other farmer veterans in your home state. As a special treat, select chapter leaders present case studies of their best practices and engaging activities for farmer veterans.

 

  Marketing Mayhem: Branding Your Business

11/19 - 9:45am PST
Jump on into this flurried frenzy of ideas! It's an action-packed punch with a dose of all things marketing. You want to showcase your brand? A dazzling line-up of real marketing gurus broadcast the one tidbit that has taken their farm to the next level. These superstars share why it can work for you, too.

 

  Until Our Tractors Cross Paths Again

11/19 - 11am PST
We end on a high note, and join everyone together for one last final "so long, farewell"...until we gather again.

Breakouts:

Wednesday Breakout #1

11/18 - 10:45am PST

   Risky Business: Smart Money Moves for Savvy Farmers

For many, the current pandemic has signaled tremendous economic stress on veteran farms and agricultural businesses. To help you succeed as a profitable enterprise, we spotlight ideas for all things financial: identifying sources of risk and the tools to manage it, mitigating legal and financial concern when trouble strikes, and a new angle for savings through a co-op system.

 

   Urban Farming: The Journey to the City

Farms are returning to cities. Urban agriculture increases access to locally grown food and introduces the public to how food grows - by season and region. Journey along with us as we explore the lessons learned by pioneers in urban agriculture. USDA will share their Urban Ag Toolkit that reveals best practices.

 

   Sweet or Crunchy: Take Your Pick

Officially defined as five or more trees together, orchards represent a diverse variety of tree crops - apples, pears, oranges, cherries, pecans, walnuts, and almonds to name a few. Fruits and nuts are among the top 10 export products from the U.S. You'll go nuts for the presenters on this panel - star veteran members and nut growing associations alike.

 

   Timber or Tannenbaum: These Woods to Know

Many of us recognize forest products as big business. But there are also many pathways that fall into the small business category of this industry that are accessible to veterans who want to pursue this field. This session will explore career opportunities in mainstream forestry as well as opportunities in niche markets like Christmas trees.

 

   The Road That Connects Us: United by Our Post-Service Pathways

Both veterans and farmers, often geographically isolated, face enormous emotional and psychological stress. Covid-19 has magnified this. There are many outlets available for self-care and help. Our goal is to share a variety of resource options, with focused presentations by PsychArmor - a mental health training and resource organization whose mission is to bridge the civilian-military gap through education - and Ag View Solutions, which shares their important work on peer learning and on-farm networking.  


 

Wednesday Breakout #2

11/18 - 12:15pm PST

   Risky Business: Unearthing the Unexpected

The big four: land use, water, labor, and crop loss. No farmer is fond of unexpected surprises when it comes to these. Tune in for advice on protecting your business from the unexpected. We dive in and dissect each one-by-one, and further offer best practices for surmounting challenges on the whole.

 

   Veggies: A Cornucopia of Options

Since the launch of FVC, support for local vegetable production has grown all across the country. Then COVID really blew the doors off! Demand for buying local - and directly - has skyrocketed. FVC Founder and Chief Agricultural Officer Michael O'Gorman and friends share tips on veggie production and on how to make the most of this timely opportunity. Bring your own questions for a live Q&A session with insight directly from the man himself.

 

It Moos, It Clucks, and More: Brilliance From the Barnyard

Producing meat, milk, eggs, and fiber, the livestock sector covers a diverse spectrum. Find your path into animal agriculture as a veteran-owned enterprise by hearing directly from some of the best in the business.

 

Blossoms & Blooms: Beyond the Bouquet

A handful of seasoned farmer veteran flower growers discuss production from the field to floral arrangements. They share their experience beyond just the bouquet itself, dabbling in value-added products, supplying cut flowers for the event industry, and conquering the many challenges that arise in the field.

 

   The Road That Connects Us: United by Our Post-Service Pathways  (Repeat Session)

Both veterans and farmers, often geographically isolated, face enormous emotional and psychological stress. Covid-19 has magnified this. There are many outlets available for self-care and help. Our goal is to share a variety of resource options, with focused presentations by PsychArmor - a mental health training and resource organization whose mission is to bridge the civilian-military gap through education - and Ag View Solutions, which shares their important work on peer learning and on-farm networking.

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