A Leesburg veteran and livestock farmer was one of the lucky winners to benefit from a partnership betweenTractor Supply Company and Farmer Veteran Coalition.
The largest rural lifestyle retailer in the U.S., Tractor Supplydonated $100,000 to Farmer Veteran Coalition, includingawarding$1,000gift cards to50 military veteransnationwidetosupport their agriculturebusinesses,and $50,000 fromthe Tractor Supply Company Foundationto support additional programming and grants.
Local farmer and veteran Bryan Salas received the award for his business, Leroy’s Farm, a wholesale livestock company founded in 2016. The Leesburg resident served in the Marines for 25 years, including a deployment.
“As the country recently celebrated Independence Day, Tractor Supply is honored to celebrate our service members who work vigorously to defend and protect our freedoms,” stated Colin Yankee, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at Tractor Supply and former U.S. Army Captain. “The Farmer Veteran Coalition does amazing work assisting veterans embarking on careers in agriculture. It is our privilege to honor these individuals with these grants so that they may continue to share their unique talents and products with their communities. We thank them, and all of the men and women in the Armed Forces, for their service.”
Each year, Tractor Supply partners with FVC to assist farmer veterans from all branches of service. In the last four years, Tractor Supply has donateda total of$250,000 in gift cardsand monetary funds, assistingmore than200 farmer veterans.This year’s50 gift-cardrecipientswere selectedbased on needtosupport their agriculture projects and businessesand represented four branches ofthemilitary across 29 states.The supplementary$50,000donationfrom the Tractor Supply Company Foundation will provide grants to seven additional farmer veterans and support FVC’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to support the journey toward racial equity in agriculture.
The FVC is a national nonprofit organization that assists active duty and veteran members of the Armed Forces embarking on careers in agriculture by providing them with education, resources and small grants to launch their own farming operation or find employment in farming. The group serves more than 30,000 members nationwide.