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Senator Stabenow Hosts Michigan Veteran to Share Perspective on the Importance of the Farmer Veterans Programs in the Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today hosted Nick Babcock, President of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan, to share his story as a farmer veteran and discuss the importance of incentives in the Farm Bill with Senators and leaders of the veteran community. Babcock was one of seven veteran leaders from across the country that participated in the discussion hosted by Senators.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line to serve our country and shouldn't stand at the back of any line –including an opportunity for a good job,” said Senator Stabenow.  “Nick was able to start a great career in farming, and I appreciate that he is helping other veterans do the same."

During the discussion, Babcock shared his perspective as a veteran who successfully started a career in agriculture, and said that farming gave him stability and changed his life for the better during his transition from the military. Babcock also highlighted several initiatives in the Farm Bill that have helped veterans like him start a farm.

“Agriculture provided me with a positive coping mechanism when I needed it most,” said Nick Babcock. “I appreciate Senator Stabenow’s work to connect veterans like me with opportunities to start a career on the farm.”

Senator Stabenow authored the current Farm Bill in 2014 and led the effort to strengthen support for farmer veterans. For the first time, the legislation created a Military Veteran Agricultural Liaison position to advocate for veteran farmers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In order to help veteran farmers overcome the barriers many new farmers face, the Farm Bill prioritized veteran access to training resources and financing through short-term low-interest loans. The bill also made it easier to participate in voluntary conservation initiatives.

Babcock, a native of Mid-Michigan retired from the U.S. Army in 2013. Babcock is the President of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan, which is one of the largest Farmer Veteran Coalition chapters in the country. In addition to perusing his master’s degree in Entomology at Michigan State University, Babcock currently operates 5BsFarm LLC focused on sheep and poultry production.