Julie Hollars Leaves The Family Farm To Join The Navy Then Returns To Ag

This is the story of Julie Hollars and the Farmer Veteran Coalition where food is “Homegrown by Heroes”. Julie Hollars grew up on a small ranch in Valecito, California. Farming has been in her family for 5 generations but when she turned 18 Julie made a decision to enlist in the U.S. Navy and proudly completed 20 years of service to her country.

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Retiring from her military career she found that farming had never left her heart and she wanted to return to her family roots in agriculture. But after 20 years of serving her country, Julie found herself struggling in her efforts to return to farming. Then she found the Farmer Veteran Coalition that helped guide Julie’s passion and helped her return to a financially sustainable place working in agriculture and helping to feed America. More about Julie Hollars from the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

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Rachel Petitt from the Farmer’s Veteran Coalition

About The Mission of Farmer Veteran Coalition Mobilizing Veterans to Feed America

We cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. We believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems. We believe that agriculture offers purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits.

Guiding Principles

WE GUIDE the passion of our veterans so that they may earn for themselves a meaningful, financially sustainable place in the agricultural community. This could entail full-time or part-time employment, or a critical supplement to disability-related income.

WE BELIEVE in the meritocracy of American agriculture, where personal responsibility for one’s actions and individual initiative in pursuit of one’s goals can create personal success. We believe in the fundamental dignity of physical work.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE the plurality of agricultural crops, practices, scale and markets available to our veterans. We honor, guide, and support the practical farming path chosen by each veteran.

WE ARE COMMITTED to leveraging our work through a network of partnerships. This allows us to more effectively help a larger number of veterans, particularly those in the onset of their  civilian careers.

WE SUPPORT all valid national, regional, or crop-specific efforts to connect veterans with agriculture and encourage collaboration instead of competition with other groups providing services to our nation’s veterans.

WE SPONSOR and encourage both employment and self-employment in agriculture, and equally value the contributions made by all members of the agricultural industry who feed America. We recognize the range of opportunities for employment throughout the agricultural economy.

WE RESPECT the privacy of our veterans, and we will assist when we can to get them the support that will help make them stronger farmers. We support and treat the whole veteran. We are aware of  the high number of veterans that return with both visible and invisible wounds.

WE RECOGNIZE the geographic and psychological isolation common to both farmers and veterans. Creating contact between our farmer veterans, and a sense of community amongst them, is an important part of our mission.

More information on the Farmer Veteran Coalition can be found here:

www.farmvetco.org

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Julie Hollars tells her story on AgStories

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Julie Hollars on her farm in Valecito, California

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