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BOONE, N.C., September 2023 — Frontline to Farm, an Appalachian State University College of Fine and Applied Arts program designed to help connect farmer veterans and communities, is pleased to announce that Boone will host the first ever Western regional Farmer Veteran Coalition of North Carolina Education Conference.

The conference, planned for October 13th from 7:30 to 4:00, will include speakers and farm tours. The speaker portion of the program will be held at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and include experts in sustainable agriculture, project planning and grants, agritourism, and farmer mental health. Exhibitors will be there to provide information from organizations such as Farm Services Agency USDA, Ag Ventures, NC Choices, Frontline to Farm, AgrAbility, and more. Local organizations, such as Browns Farm Ridge and Appalachian State University, are providing gift baskets for giveaways, and the first 50 registrants will receive a commemorative cup.

Participants will tour farms in the afternoon including the Hidden Happiness Bee Farm, Apple Hill Farm, Shipley Farms, Against the Grain farm, and others. Participants will choose from 4 pre-determined tour itineraries.

To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farmer-veteran-coalition-nc-western-educational-conference-tickets-690452170027

The North Carolina Farmer Veteran Coalition, affiliated with the national Farmer Veteran Coalition, has a mission to “to mobilize a network of organizations and individuals who facilitate North Carolina Veterans in deploying their skills in agriculture.” The conference offers an opportunity to bring farmer veterans together to learn about topics important to their work and to encourage connections between farmers, farm service agencies, and community organizations in the area. Begun four years ago, this is the first time it will be split into two regions. The Eastern Region FVC NC Education Conference will be held in Fayetteville on October 27th.

“Both Frontline to Farm and the North Carolina FVC missions have at their core a dedication to serving farmer veterans and, by extension, the communities they serve. There is great need for local, sustainable agriculture that ensures food access in rural communities and a livelihood for farmers. It is in the conjunction of that need and opportunity that farmer veterans can make the transition from military back to civilian life in a way that is meaningful to them” said Dr. Lynn Gibbard, Co-Director of Frontline to Farm and Vice President of the North Carolina Farmer Veteran Coalition who is local arrangements planner for the Western region conference. Gibbard is a US Army veteran.

About Frontline to Farm

Frontline to Farm aids veterans with the transition to civilian life by teaching sustainable farming practices and promoting community connections. Frontline to Farm, a program of Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts, is a collaborative effort between the Department of Sustainable Development and the Department of Communication. Dr. Anne Fanatico and Dr. Lynn Gibbard spearheaded the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development fund grant award that began the program. With a focus in ecological and humane livestock production, Frontline to Farm is working to connect a community of veterans and beginning farmers and has already begun planning for its fourth annual training for summer 2024. To learn more about the program or to support farmer veterans in the High Country and across the region, visit www.frontlinetofarm.appstate.edu or email frontlinetofarm@appstate.edu.

Courtesy of Frontline to Farm