Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

January 31, 2013

New agriculture programs have potential to help veterans

Challenges still to be met

By AMANDA LOVIZA VICKERY
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — The Kentucky commissioner of agriculture hopes that two newly launched programs will help Kentucky veterans and farmers. While local veteran farmers support the concept, they see some obstacles that will have to be overcome.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced last week the creation of Homegrown By Heroes and Jobs for Vets, both extensions of the Kentucky Proud program. The goal of Jobs for Vets is to connect veterans looking for work with farmers who need labor, and Homegrown By Heroes is a marketing label that will identify farm products produced by Kentucky veterans.

The two programs are concepts created in the commissioner’s office as a response to the struggles veterans are facing in the job market, Comer said, and he hopes that not only will the programs help Kentucky veterans find agriculture jobs and sell their products, but veterans around the country.

“I expect it to become a national model that all 50 states will look to help our veterans,” Comer said.

Glasgow farmer and retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Joe Trigg met with Comer on the Jan. 22 launch day of Jobs for Vets and Homegrown By Heroes. People like Trigg exemplify what the programs are all about, Comer said. Trigg had a distinguished military career, and since returning to Glasgow after retirement has focused on innovative farming techniques.

“I expect him to be the first person in south central Kentucky to be part of the Homegrown By Heroes marketing initiative,” Comer said.

Homegrown By Heroes and Jobs for Vets are good concepts, Trigg said, and he will participate in the programs, but he expects lack of funding to be a problem.

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Thursday's Glasgow Daily Times.