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Thorntown farmer awarded Tractor Supply veterans grant

The Lebanon Reporter - 7/23/2022

Jul. 23—It couldn't have come at a better time.

After blindly applying for multiple grants a while back, Thorntown veteran and farmer Forrest Bopp's prayers were answered.

Earlier this month, Bopp was announced as the recipient of $1,000 from Tractor Supply Company to go toward his business, Heavenly Acres Farm.

The award is part of a national campaign in which Tractor Supply is donating $1,000 to 50 military veterans to support their agricultural businesses.

"It was a very timely and surprising blessing for us," Bopp said.

Applying for grants is not an easy process. There are thousands of grants available and each one comes with its own specific criteria.

"I applied for various ones and you may hear back, you may not," Bopp said. "You just fire and forget to some degree. We haven't been very successful with getting anything, so it was a very nice surprise for us."

The grant also came at an important time, as the Bopps are trying to establish a perimeter fence around the property.

"Our farm is a little bit different from maybe some other ones in that we're organic and that we don't introduce any kind of chemicals or any artificial growing chemicals, nothing like that," Bopp explained. "It's all grass fed, free range everything. Even the pigs."

They currently have a perimeter fence around the property but it's just not the best, so the money from the grant will go toward a fully-secured property.

Bopp said in a post-COVID-19 world, everything is more expensive and a lot harder to find. He ended up actually putting the money from his grant back into Tractor Supply, purchasing posts for his fence at the one store in the area that had them in stock.

"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," Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Tractor Supply and former U.S. Army Captain Colin Yankee said in the press release announcing the grant. "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."


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