Empowering Veterans to Thrive in Agriculture

Mike Bobst Quote on Role of Bankers Assisting Veteran FarmersThe Iowa Bankers Association newsletter recently featured Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa board member Mike Bobst, Vice-president at First State Bank in Redfield, Iowa.  Mike has been involved in banking since 1984.  Before that he worked in the farm equipment business and spent four years in the U.S. Air Force.  Mike had this to say about the FVC of Iowa and how bankers can play a critical role in assisting veterans interested in agriculture. You can read the full article here: Iowa Bankers Exchange FVC of Iowa Article.

Q: What is the objective of this group?

A: The objective of the FVC of Iowa is to assist the veterans who have given much to protect what we take for granted. It is the FVC of Iowa’s goal to make the veteran’s transition back to civilian life as easy as possible. This group has access to programs and resources for veterans seeking a career in agriculture. FVC of Iowa provides guidance and acts as a network for sharing experience, disseminating information, providing resources, and identifying collaborators.

Q: Why do you think this idea is important for our veterans?

A: These veterans, both men and women, have many traits that make them valuable to employers and to farmers who wish to transition to retirement. They just need assistance and guidance to accomplish this transition, especially those veterans with special needs resulting from injuries, both physical and mental. There are businesses and government programs out there that will help. It is the group’s purpose to find ways to help them.

Q: What are some of the ways you’d encourage Iowa banks to get involved ?

A: I would encourage all bankers, especially bankers in rural areas, to view the group’s website www.iowafarmerveteran.org. Bankers, by their very nature, know the working parts of their communities. As a group, bankers should be the financial resource to help these veterans make the entry into farming and related businesses and help make them sustainable. If any bankers know of a farmer or agribusiness that needs reliable help or a new partner, they should contact the FVC of Iowa to see who and what programs are available for those who made such an important sacrifice for us.

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