When a farmer wants to tell his story, you listen (and take notes if you’re a communications intern). David Gevry recently contacted the Alliance about wanting to share what he’s been up to on his farm and I was thrilled. My favorite assignments in college always happened out of the classroom when I was able to meet new people, learn their story and turn it into something publishable and worth reading.
I enjoy writing news articles, blogs or feature stories that shine light on people and places that are doing something positive for themselves and their community. Make that person a farmer and that place a farm and I’ll write a book for you!
Although I wasn’t able to meet Gevry in person, I can tell he is a farmer worth writing about. If his name sounds familiar it’s probably because we were talking about him on this blog last October.
After returning home from combat deployment in 2011, Gevry found farming to be therapeutic, so he started farming as a hobby. Four years later and that hobby has turned into something great.
Gevry co-founded Vets2Farm, a 15-acre farm in Little Falls, New York, which helps disabled veterans to heal from the trauma of war and give back to their community through farming.
In 2014, Vets2Farm was on Kickstarter, but didn’t receive enough donations to reach its goal of $5,000. This was only a minor setback for Gevry. Since our last post, he has received two different land-lease donations. One is being used for a crop operation while the other is helping to begin a pork operation. They will continue to use their previous land-lease donation for poultry.
“We have purchased pigs, chickens and loads of seeds,” Gevry said. “We plan to begin marketing our veteran-grown products at the numerous local farmers markets to help achieve sustainability.”
Like all farmers across the country, Gevry has had to battle the snow while tending to his crops and livestock, which he described as “no easy feat.”
While a lot of people may have enjoyed having some relaxing snow days out of the office, farmers don’t have the luxury of dropping everything to build a snowman and drink hot chocolate. Farmers work everyday, rain or shine, to ensure quality food is being produced for consumers across the country and even the world.
In addition to working in the field, Gevry is thinking about the financial future of his farm and has filed for 501(c)(3) status. “We have also been working with grant writers on developing grants that will work on consolidating efforts to reduce expenses and to be able to increase our ability to provide more for our veterans,” he said. “There is so much more to come in the near future for this project.”
Vets2Farm follows all-organic practices, but it’s important to remember that there is room for diversity in the agriculture industry. There is room for organic and conventional farming and one is not better than the other, but they are just different ways of farming. Consumer choice is a privilege that not everyone has, but Americans are lucky to have.
From small to large farms and from beginning farmers to men and women who have been farming for generations, they are all working hard to provide food for their family, friends and the growing population.
From the farms I’ve visited and all the farmers I have met, I have come to admire the quote “…everyday, three times a day, you need a farmer,” and from what I have read about Vets2Farm, I think Gevry is another example of the quote ringing true.