Written by: BreAnn Fields, Farm Credit marketing intern
Veterans Day honors America’s servicemen and women, who have put their lives on the line for our freedom. Brian Truitt, a veteran who served eight years in the U.S. Army and thirteen years in the National Guard, is a great example of why we celebrate Veterans Day. “I joined the military because after a year in college, I figured that was not the right course of action.” He adds, “I thought the army would be a great way to gain some skills and be a productive member of the community.”
Brian and his wife, Shawna, and son, Cooper, live on a 103 acre farm in Sudlersville, Maryland, that has been in the Truitt family for over 100 years. They started with alpacas and a few chickens, but now have expanded to over 100 chickens, 20 alpacas, ducks, geese, goats, cats, and two livestock guardian dogs. Some of their animals on the farm are rescued or need 24/7 attention. Their newest venture is growing hops, with hopes of starting a brewery in the near future. “Farm Credit has helped us in starting our new venture,” says Shawna.
About three years ago, they named their farm Patriot Acres. “We thought that Patriot Acres made sense, especially since we are working closely with the Homegrown by Heroes program,” says Shawna.
In the spring of 2016, the Truitt’s heard about the Homegrown by Heroes program through the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Homegrown by Heroes is the official farmer veteran branding program of America. Farmer veterans who are members of the program are able to proudly show the HBH logo on their farm and items they sell, to inform consumers the products they are purchasing were produced by military veterans. “Homegrown by Heroes has helped us with getting our name out there,” says Brian. “It’ll open up dialogue and I love to talk so when consumers come to our farm they always ask about how I served and what Homegrown by Heroes is.”
This Veteran’s Day, take time to thank our military, past and present, for fighting for our country. If you see a Homegrown by Heroes sign at the end of a farm lane, stop in and say hi and support their operation. Patriot Acres offers farm visits and tours, by appointment only, with two hours of visiting with their animals and learn about farming.