Katy served as a specialist in the U.S. Army. Her husband, Rick, recently retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4, also with the U.S. Army. As parents to two daughters, they had concerns as to what they were feeding their children and themselves.
Today, Katy and Rick are fixtures at their local farmers’ markets. Local shoppers clamor for their carrots, beets, garlic scapes, radishes, tomatoes, tree fruit and other delicious farm-grown vegetables. They also line up for their juicy whole chickens, boneless skinless breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks.
As members of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Katy and Rick not only are able to brand their farm’s products with their own logos. They can also use the Homegrown by Heroes emblem.
Homegrown by Heroes
Homegrown by Heroes (HBH) is the official branding program offered throughout America by the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The HBH logo informs consumers that the agricultural products bearing this tag were grown or raised by U.S. military veterans.
The tag is not just for poultry and produce farmers, however. Any rancher, farmer or fisherman who served in the U.S. military at any point in their life, including currently, can apply to use the HBH logo.
Eligibility requirements for the HBH branding state that veterans must have been discharged honorably or under honorable conditions. All farming, ranching, fishing and agribusiness operations must be at least 50 percent veteran owned, as well as at least 50 percent veteran managed or controlled.
In addition, any value-added products—raw agricultural products that have been enhanced or modified to have a longer shelf life, such as salsas, jams, pies, and jerky—produced by an HBH-certified veteran must contain a minimum 50 percent non-water ingredients. In other words, items actually grown or raised by the veteran.
The veteran must also be a member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
An Invaluable Bump
In the increasingly competitive cottage-foods industry, having a connection with the Farmer Veteran Coalition can be the boost that a veteran-owned farm needs to gain point-of-sale recognition in the marketplace. The HBH logo—a bright red, white and blue emblem featuring saluting male and female military silhouettes—easily stands out on egg cartons, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm-share boxes, packaged meats and more.
And the HBH logo’s very design invites people to ask what it stands for. This can open valuable communication with potential shoppers and help to develop connections with returning customers. Given America’s love for its military veterans, branding farm products with the HBH logo allows consumers to show their support for veteran agriculturalists.
Katy and Rick have certainly appreciated the benefits of having the HRH logo and HRH signs. Over the years, they’ve developed a loyal following of customers who love not only the quality of the chicken, fruits and vegetables that their agribusinesses produce but also that their farm products are homegrown by two local heroes.