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Bluefield veteran farmer receives small business grant

Bluefield Daily Telegraph - 7/12/2022

Jul. 12—BLUEFIELD — A retail chain with a store in Bluefield and the Farmer Veteran Coalition have awarded a grant to a local veteran to help fund his business.

Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), has awarded Bluefield veteran Bruce McDuffee$1,000 for his business, Blue Sky Orchards, the company announced Friday.

The grant will help McDuffee continue to grow his orchards and build a thriving agritourism business which can draw a population of about 200,000 people within a 50-mile radius, company officials said. McDuffee served in the Navy for several years and was deployed numerous times.

This award is part of a nationwide campaign with Tractor Supply donating $100,000 to the FVC, including awarding $1,000 gift cards to 50 military veterans nationwide to support their agriculture businesses and $50,000 from the Tractor Supply Company Foundation to support additional programming and grants.

"The freedoms we enjoy in America have been made possible by our active military, veterans and their families. We are honored to thank them for their sacrifice by contributing to causes that support the military community," said Colin Yankee, Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Tractor Supply and former U.S. Army Captain. "It's a privilege to assist the Farmer Veteran Coalition, as they provide this resource to our nation's heroes. and on behalf of our 47,000 Team Members, many of whom are veterans themselves, we thank the men and women in the Armed Forces for their service."

Each year, Tractor Supply partners with FVC to assist farmer veterans from all branches of service. In the last four years, Tractor Supply has donated a total of $350,000 in gift cards and monetary funds, assisting more than 260 farmer veterans. This year's 50 gift-card recipients were selected based on need to support their agriculture projects and businesses and represented four branches of the military across 32 states. The supplementary $50,000 donation from the Tractor Supply Company Foundation will provide grants to seven additional farmer veterans and support FVC's diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to support the journey toward racial equity in agriculture.

Contact Greg Jordan at


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