House Agriculture Committee Highlights Veteran Farmer Contributions to Food Security
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges for veteran farmers and the contributions they make to our national food security. This is the fourth hearing in the committee’s hearing series focused on national security. Members heard from a panel of veterans-turned-farmers who shared their personal experiences encountering global food insecurity during their time in active duty. The committee also examined different programs available to help veterans transition into agricultural occupations.
“The men and women of America’s armed services regularly witness food insecurity around the world, and they understand the immense challenges it brings to a nation. Those returning from active duty who choose to dedicate themselves to securing our domestic food security as farmers and ranchers deserve our praise, particularly as we approach the Memorial Day holiday. I am hopeful that the programs and policies we discussed today can assist America’s veterans as they transition from defending to now working our nation’s soil,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway.
Last November, the Agriculture Committee began examining the links between agriculture and national security. The committee first explored the connections between food security and national security, both here at home and abroad. The committee then reviewed the United States’ level of preparedness to handle a potential outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease and our capability to prevent the introduction of animal and plant pests and diseases into the United States.
COL John S. Fant, (Ret.), U.S. Army, Co-Owner/Operator, Summerfield Heritage Farm, Independence, VA
COL John Lemondes, (Ret.), U.S. Army, Jamesville, NY
Colonel Cindy Chastain, (Ret.), U.S. Army, Veteran Outreach Coordinator, National AgrAbility Project, West Lafayette, IN
Staff Sergeant Eric Grandon, (Ret.) U.S. Army, Sugar Bottom Farm, Ovapa, WV, on behalf of the West Virginia Warriors and Veterans to Agriculture Program