Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, recently donated $100,000 to the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), including awarding $1,000 gift cards to 50 military veterans nationwide to support their agriculture businesses and $50,000 from the Tractor Supply Company Foundation to support additional programming and grants.
Local farmer and veteran Paul Dengel in Williamsburg received the award for his business, Good Thymes Organic’s business.
Good Thymes Farm is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified Organic vegetable farm nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Kentucky. They are members of the Kentucky Proud, Appalachia Proud, and Home Grown by Heroes programs and have completed the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training program.
Good Thymes Farm is a family farm that does small-scale intensive vegetable production. They strive to provide high quality produce for their customers while minimizing the impact on land.
Dengel served in Air Force for four years and spent one of those years deployed. He has flown on missions to over 30 countries and five different continents.
“As the country recently celebrated Independence Day, Tractor Supply is honored to celebrate our service members who work vigorously to defend and protect our freedoms,” said Colin Yankee, Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Tractor Supply and former U.S. Army Captain.
“The Farmer Veteran Coalition does amazing work assisting veterans embarking on careers in agriculture. It is our privilege to honor these individuals with these grants so that they may continue to share their unique talents and products with their communities. We thank them, and all of the men and women in the Armed Forces, for their service.”
Each year, Tractor Supply partners with FVC to assist farmer veterans from all branches of service. In the last four years, Tractor Supply has donated a total of $250,000 in gift cards and monetary funds, assisting more than 200 farmer veterans.
This year’s 50 gift-card recipients were selected based on need to support their agriculture projects and businesses and represented four branches of the military across 29 states. The supplementary $50,000 donation from the Tractor Supply Company Foundation will provide grants to seven additional farmer veterans and support FVC’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to support the journey toward racial equity in agriculture.
FVC is a national nonprofit organization that assists active duty and veteran members of our Armed Forces embarking on careers in agriculture by providing them with education, resources and small grants to launch their own farming operation or find employment in farming. The group serves more than 30,000 members nationwide.
The rural lifestyle retailer supports military members year-round with programs, such as Dogs on Deployment, and by offering military discounts on select holidays like Fourth of July and Veterans Day.