National FVC announced today that it awarded nearly $450,000 in gift cards nationwide and Tennessee veterans reaped the benefits. Congratulations to our members for being recognized for their hard work and business sense! Keep an eye out for interviews and help sessions with these folks so we can continue to bring resources and recognition to the awesome members of FVCTN!
Tamlyn Burnham | Houston County Farm | Army
Johanna Kirkegaard-Blue | Do the Needful Farms | Air Force
Amber Saldana | Cold Creek Flower Farm | Air Force
Anthony Elms | Golden Valley Farm | Air Force
Chad Shields | Six Stone Jars Farm, LLC | Army
Ayna Lisa Brown | Oak Grove Lavender | Navy
James Blair | Double JB Farm | Navy
Christopher Boyce | Silver Bell Ranch | Army & Navy
Kenza White, Air Force veteran and East TN New Farmer graduate, was the recent receipent of a Frontline Garden raised bed inspired by her Air Force story. A dozen FVCTN members came out to volunteer in the installation. Vets helping vets is what it's all about!
The 2022 PickTN Conference felt like a home coming event. It was at this conference in 2020 that we officially stood up the TN state chapter of FVC.
It was great to reconnect with old friends and just as important to make new friends throughout the three day event.
Our annual meeting on Friday was very inspiring and invigorating to me. It was great to see so many new people that were wanting to join in and engage in our efforts to help our fellow veterans grow in their farming careers.
The current leadership team will be pulling together all of the information we gleaned and should be able to provide a slate of candidates for the full membership to vote on. This will help to keep the chapter viable and growing as we work to create a new and better 'normal' post-COVID. I look forward to seeing how the chapter will grow with this new infusion of energy and ideas.
What did others learn from the conference and what visions do we have for the future of our chapter?
Now that the FVC National Stakeholder Conference is over, I have had the opportunity to reflect a bit on the experience and what a great opportunity this was to show off our state and our chapter.
As the chapter President, I was very proud of the showing that TN made to this event. We had over 30 participants and all of them showed the southern hospitality expected of us as hosts. Members of FVC-TN moderated or participated in break-out workshops, provided information to fellow attendees and planned and conducted three outstanding Farm Tours.
Everyone that I talked with at the conference was pleased with the planning and the execution and the warm welcome that TN farmer veterans provided. We are a great state and a great chapter and it showed very well over the 3 days of the conference.
As the host state chapter, FVC-TN had a fair amount of work to do to help with the planning of this conference. The leadership team created a working group to plan for and implement this great event that included Jim Artman (VP), Amanda Lovingood (Secretary), Jen Durant (Communications), PZ Horton (Board) and Eileen Legault (Advisory committee) and myself. These 6 chapter leaders essentially "worked a second job" as we held numerous zoom meetings, sent countless e-mails and followed up on details in an ever- changing situation. The TN chapter helped with venue selection, the Wednesday night social event and overall planning and were additionally responsible for the Color Guard, four of the break-out sessions and all three farm tours. We had a lot of help in planning our Farm Tours from Jeni Goodrich (advisory committee) and her fellow extension agents.
The end result was a great opportunity for TN farmer veterans to mee with and network with each other as well as fellow farmer veterans from at least 15 states. In addition we got to meet with and interact with members of the FVC National Team and numerous exhibitors. All of the work was worth it as these conversations have sparked many new ideas with attendees. I look forward to seeing these ideas grow into actions in the coming year.
Please reply to this post with your own reflections on the FVC stakeholders conference. What was your favorite part?
Welcome to the FVC-TN Website! A good number of people from the state chapter leadership have been working toward a site like this for nearly a year. COVID and other factors delayed our work, but we formed an IT committee back in July and that got us moving forward again. Special thanks go out to PZ Horton (one of our Board Members) for doing the lions share of the work on this website.
I hope that everyone finds this website useful and easy to navigate. We are not perfect and we know that there will need to be some adjustments and additions as we go forward. We chose this particular platform because it allows individual members to correct and update their own directory information. If you see something in error in your information, you can correct it. If you see errors in other parts of the website or if you want to make suggestions for improvement, please send them our way. Replying to this Blog Post would be one way to make those suggestions.
This website is new and we need your imnput for any changes or corrections.
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