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Program helps support veteran-owned farms, businesses

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 11, 2016

Veterans Day may be a day to honor those who served our country, but it is also a day to provide assistance and support their efforts, like the Indiana Grown Homegrown by Heroes program.

The program gives Hoosiers a new way to support local veterans with an agriculture business. On the flip side, it gives local producers who have served in the military the opportunity to use an exclusively-designed logo on their business signage.

Hallelujah Acres Farm in Boone County is a new farm run by husband and wife Jim and Holly Catron. The farm is operated through the Homegrown by Heroes program.

The pair said their business has grown a lot over the past year.

“I feel like it attracted people to say, ‘wow this might be local food,’ and then through the discussions and telling them the story about our farm, they kind of every week returned,” said Holly.

The program also allows Hoosiers to meet veterans, like Jim, who served the country from 1983 to 1994.

"We're trying to get more veterans to actually do this because of their integrity, their hard work and their dedication to their country,” said Jim. “We're hearing a lot of great reports especially, from guys coming back from the war that are doing this. It’s just given them a peace"

To be eligible for the Indiana Grown Homegrown by Heroes logo, the producer must meet all Indiana Grown membership criteria, as well as the following:

· Have veteran, active duty, National Guard or Reserve member of the U.S. Armed Forces status, without regard to age or era of duty;

· Provide a copy of their Department of Defense Form 214 or equivalent;

· Have characterization of service of Honorable or General (under Honorable conditions);

· Provide a letter of support from their commanding officer or designated representative attesting to their service under honorable conditions if they are an active duty member; and

· Maintain 50 percent or greater veteran ownership of their business or operation and 50 percent or greater veteran management control.

For more information on the program, visit