Harrison County veteran farmer receives grant to expand operations

Farmer Veteran Coalition Grant allows woman to expand farm
Published: Jul. 30, 2023 at 11:54 PM EDT
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CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WKYT) - For new farmer Lauren Simmons, existing in a male-dominated field is nothing new.

“Its not uncommon when you go to any type of feed store or tractor shop or whatever, my husband, he’s a manly man, so naturally they assume that he’s the one that kind of runs the farm and he’s the veteran, but he’s quick to say, ‘no my wife, she’s the one who’s the veteran.’” said Simmons, owner and operator of Brownings Farm in Cynthiana.

Simmons served six years in the United States Coast Guard, something she said has benefited her farming career as well.

“The dynamics of what the military offered, which is really hard work and hard work under pressure. It shaped me,” she said.

As a veteran, Simmons was eligible to receive $5,000 through the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s Fellowship Fund.

The money will allow her to expand Brownings Farm and provide even more goods to the people of Harrison County.

“I applied for the grant for one of the pieces of equipment that we were missing which was a post driver, and that will allow us to turn all of this into pastures that we can rotationally graze,” she added.

Simmons said she’s thrilled to be a part of an organization that not only gives funding to veteran farmers, but supports their entire operation.

“The types of things that you have to do on a farm can really translate over to your training, and so I think these programs are huge because they allow people to do something that will heal them,” she said.

Simmons also said grant funding like this can really help small and up-and-coming farms like her by preventing them from going into debt with costly business loans.