Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Brigadier General Mark Goodwill joined veterans and partners during visits to veteran-owned farms in Allegheny and Fayette counties. During the tours, Redding thanked farmer veterans for continuing to serve their communities through agriculture after returning from military service.
“More than 7,000 Pennsylvanians are veterans who continue to serve through agriculture, by feeding local families every day,” said Redding. “We appreciate these heroes and their choice to join our strong and diverse agricultural workforce, and I encourage Pennsylvanians to connect with farmer veterans in their area and shop at local, veteran-owned businesses for the holidays.”
The first visit was to Forever Heart Farm, LLC, a veteran-owned, local diversified farm in Moon Township, Allegheny County, employing sustainable agricultural practices and organic growing methods to bring their customers eggs, produce, and pastured meats. The farm has offered Beekeeping Basics for Veterans classes and other courses that bring veterans together.
The second visit was to Heritage Farms, a combat veteran-owned farm that specializes in raising heritage breed cattle and hogs. After being medically retired from the Army, the owner’s dream of farming became a reality, also providing structure and a form of therapy.
“We are grateful that the Department of Agriculture always recognizes veterans and the contributions they make to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Goodwill, assistant adjutant general – Pennsylvania Air National Guard. “Veterans spend their military career serving others, and when returning to civilian life, you bring critical skillsets and a commitment to service – extremely desirable, employable skills that set veterans apart, which is evident here today.”