Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Robert Elliott
Farmer and Founder of the Farmer Veteran Network of North Carolina and the Veteran Farm of North Carolina

Louisburg, North Carolina
Robert's Perspective

Robert Elliot is a strong advocate for organic and sustainable farming in Central North Carolina and a strong supporter of America’s military veterans.

Farming on his boyhood farm, the former Marine pasture raises pigs, chickens, turkeys and ducks, processing all but the hogs directly on his farm. He also sells free range eggs from heritage breed chickens, organic heirloom vegetables, and shitake mushrooms grown on locally harvested Sweet Gum logs.

Robert also founded both the Farmer Veteran Network of North Carolina and the Veteran Farm of North Carolina, though which he helps military veterans heal and involves them in veteran-owned farms.

"With family farms being lost and the growing demands being put on dwindling numbers of farmers every day, I hope to usher in a new generation of farmers,” Robert says. “The Veterans Farm will have veterans together and engaging in the nourishment of life rather than the destruction many of us have seen. This training model, coupled with mentorships with successful farmers of both conventional and sustainable varieties, will place new life back into agriculture through veterans ready to serve their country once again while finding peace.”

Also active outside his farming enterprises, Robert is a member of the Marine Corps League, AMVETS, and a Certified Peer Mentor for Wounded Warrior Project. He serves as the President of the Franklin County Area Small Farmers Association and is an active member of the local Justice community volunteer fire department. He is also a board member for the local Farm Bureau, Rocky Mount Farmers Market Advisory Council and the Wilson Community College Culinary Program Board. In 2015, Robert was named a semifinalist for the National Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year award for the current year, and in February 2016 was recognized as the Innovative Young Farmer of the Year award by the Farm Credit associations in North Carolina.

“The future is already starting to show itself through the massive interest from USDA and other entities recognizing the work ethic found in veterans and how we are an exact fit for agriculture,” says Robert. “Tomorrow takes today’s veterans and places them into the most fulfilling lifestyle and occupation there is, and we’ll begin to see American agriculture start to solve many of its own problems.”

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