The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc. is a farm designed and dedicated to returning service members and veterans of all eras to educate on all aspects of agriculture. VFNC helps them learn through on farm production models of sustainable livestock production and organic vegetable production. Other mentorship opportunities with conventional farms are utilized for specialized interests for veterans wishing to learn about other avenues of farm production models. VFNC allows veterans to become heroes in life for a second time by helping them transition into becoming farmers for tomorrow. We help existing farmers with consultation and equipment usage to keep debt low and expansion potential high.
Who we are & what we do
Established in 2015
The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc. is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization, dedicated to assisting veterans in becoming successful farmers in North Carolina. Our main goal is to alleviate the issues veterans face in transition to civilian life as well as helping to eradicate many of the problems that agriculture faces today by introducing a new breed of farmers for America’s future food necessities.
Our main goal is to alleviate the issues veterans face in transition to civilian life as well as helping to eradicate many of the problems that agriculture faces today by introducing a new breed of farmers for America’s future food necessities.
Robert Elliott returned home in 2011 from serving five years of active duty in the Marine Corps and 10 years as a contractor for the Department of Defense working with Marines. Upon returning home, he began to farm on his family’s land after attempting an unsuccessful return into the civilian world. With almost nothing but his family’s blessing, he built a small farming operation producing meats to the general public.
He found peace and meaningful work on the farm, and it was immediately apparent as to the value of farming in his life. Soon into his farming career, Robert began to be pursued by media outlets wanting to write stories about the Marine who came home to farm and found solace while building a successful business. When the stories went public, veterans in NC and across the country began to contact him to learn how to become farmers and do what he did. The time he spent working with each veteran individually gave way to the idea that veterans could save the world of agriculture in all forms and with all of its problems.
Pitching the idea to any and everyone, the basic model of The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc. was born. VFNC would be a place where veterans could come and learn about what farming was all about and take skills and ideas back to their operations. Today, VFNC has served hundreds of veterans from basic phone calls to assist vets find resources, to one-on-one in-person counseling, full lines of agricultural equipment being used by veterans daily, and business development.
Meghan Davis joined us after years in the Corporate Banking world. Feeling uninspired and wanting more from her job, she joined our team in April of 2021.
Born and raised in Savannah Georgia, Meghan helped her grandfather in his azalea gardens at his home. The pride they had in gardening and the peace it brought her “Pop’s” after serving in WW2 as a fighter pilot, she experienced first-hand how therapy from ag would bring Veterans to find peace.
Meghan has been closely tied to the military for over 16 years personally and has worked closely with many Veterans who’ve returned home to only search for a new life of peace.
“Working for VFNC, I get to be a part of a movement that makes a huge difference in the lives of Veterans leaving the service. It is life changing. I feel blessed to be a part of something so impactful and see where Vets are finding new directions into lives of growth and peace.”
Davon Goodwin, Scotland County
Davon Goodwin grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has rooted himself in North Carolina for over a decade now, consistently evidencing his dual commitment to agriculture and community. Davon holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he studied biology with a concentration in botany. While in college, Davon enlisted in the Army Reserve; he served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED).
Since 2012, Davon has been working with Growing Change, a nonprofit organization that is transforming former North Carolina prisons into therapeutic farms and community centers where youth and veterans serve in leadership roles. Through Growing Change, Davon has served as a teacher and mentor to youth who have themselves been impacted by the juvenile justice system. He has helped support Growing Change’s youth as they have become statewide leaders in CEFS’ Food Youth Initiative, a network of young people doing food justice work in their communities across North Carolina, as well as leaders nationally, sharing out this revolutionary model for community change.
Currently, Davon is the manager of the Sandhills Ag Innovation Center, a food hub in Ellerbe, North Carolina that is working to reinvigorate the local sustainable farm economy and support the next generation of farmers. He also owns and operates OTL Farms, a 42-acre sustainable farm located in Laurinburg, NC where he grows muscadine grapes, Blackberries and Vegetables. Davon was a 2017 Stone Barns Exchange Fellow, a group working at the intersections of climate change, food and agriculture. Davon was also apart of the 2018 Documentary “The War Within” is a video series from McClatchy Studios that chronicles the lives of retired veterans of the conflict in Afghanistan who are helping their brothers and sisters in arms cope with the effects of PTSD. Davon Goodwin is a driver of change, and truly a Local Food Hero!
Adam Jeter was raised in Beavercreek, Ohio prior to enlisting in the military. Adam enlisted in the Marine Corps Jul 1996 where he served nine years in California at both MCAS Miramar and Camp Pendleton. He transitioned to the Army Jul 2005 where he became an Airborne Calvary Scout with 5-73 CAV, 3rd BDE 82nd Airborne Division. He completed two tours to Iraq before completing assessment and selection for Civil Affairs. Adam then joined the ranks of US Army Special Operations Command 96th Civil Affairs BN, 95th Civil Affairs BDE where he would deploy to Jordan and Afghanistan, he would finish his career at the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare and School as a Sr. Assessor for the Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection Program.
Prior to retirement Adam found his passion and peace in raising livestock and purchased a small farming operation in 2017. Adam retired from the military Nov 2019 after 23 years of service and began farming full time. Currently he owns a 60 acre farm raising hogs, meat chickens and laying hens. His farm (Spartan Tusk and Feather Livestock) focuses on regenerative agriculture through pasture management and livestock rotation to produce high quality, nutrient dense products. Another strong passion for Adam is educating and supporting 1st generation farmers in their efforts to begin their agricultural journey.
Adam is honored to be a member of The Veteran’s Farm of NC stating, “I’m humbled to be part of an organization that so strongly unites and supports veteran farmers. Together we can make a difference”
Watson Sanders Farm is a 150 acre family farm that was established in 1820. Samantha Birdson-Manning, a U.S. Army Veteran, took over a 7 acre produce operation on that farm in 2017.
Samantha was motivated to pursue a degree in agriculture by our organization, as she saw farming as an avenue toward healing and purpose in Veterans. She also serves as the President of our Board of Directors and as the Soldier to Agriculture Program Coordinator and Veteran Liaison on Ft. Bragg
Today, with the assistance of her son, Samantha grows figs, blackberries, corn, beans, and seasonal vegetables.