CDR Barney Barnes, USN (ret) (left) is thrilled and the tractor projects begin tomorrow!
Thank you Work Vessels for Vets for making this happen at Happy Homestead!
MYSTIC, CT CDR Scott “Barney” Barnes, USN (ret) retired from the Navy in 2006 to establish Happy Homestead Farm in Florida’s panhandle only to have Hurricane Michael destroy his fields and farm equipment in 2018. Work Vessels for Vets, headquartered in Mystic, CT was particularly connected with this veteran who had been stationed at the nearby US Navy Submarine Base in Groton. It took nearly six months of searching to find an affordable tractor with implements to get Barney’s farm up and running again.
This week, the long search was fruitful with a $7000 grant from WVFV, a personal contribution from Barnes, and the generous discount from the retiring local owner. Happy Homestead Farms will soon be back at full production of Certified Naturally Grown vegetables, mushrooms, cut flowers and worm casting products in the Florida panhandle markets.
“This award to CDR Barnes and many other awards to veterans from Work Vessels for Vets is only possible because of the foundation support from Newman’s Own Foundation, The Overwatch Alliance and individual donors who share our mission to equip America’s returning veterans with the tools they need to start a business,” says Cathy Cook, Executive Director of Work Vessels for Vets. “Since 2008 we have equipped 2000 veteran-entrepreneurs with tools valued at $3 million! And this is all done by volunteers, assuring contributors that 99 cents of every $1.00 goes to direct service to veterans. Learn more about us at WVFV.org,”