Vet Veggies is an Arkansas based company with a twofold mission: to help veterans establish a sustainable business when they return to civilian life, and providing the community with the freshest produce available.
In January I actually stumbled upon Vet Veggies on Instagram and decided I would send a message letting them know how interested I was in their business model and how it could impact the sustainable food movement. I was even more excited when I realized they were based in Arkansas. A few days later I received a reply from their marketing company with contact information for one of the owners and they extended the offer to come tour the farm in Springdale, Arkansas. I was so excited!
I spent the morning getting the know a bit about the owners and how this brilliant concept was born. Owner, Jerry Martin, was watching the morning news and stumbled up on a segment featuring freight farming, the concept of growing produce hydroponically in a shipping container. This idea blossomed into the concept of Vet Veggies. Vet Veggies began operations in July 2015 and is owned and operated by Jerry, Darryl Hill, and Alan Altom. The veteran trio is committed to their product and their vision. The farm allows the team to grow the equivalent of one acre of produce in a 40-foot shipping container. This concept uses 90% less water than traditional farming, eliminates the nuisance of pests and need for herbicides or pesticides, and allows the harvest of fresh, crisp produce year round. After harvest and delivery, the produce has double to almost triple the shelf-life of crops harvested on a conventional farming operation. Even better, no farming experience is required. You can currently find Vet Veggies produce in multiple grocery stores and restaurants in northwest Arkansas (all locations listed here).
Their vision for the company doesn’t stop at supplying fresh produce for Arkansas. Vet Veggies has the turn-key solution that allows veteran farmers to explore their entrepreneurial spirit while providing the infrastructure and support required for success. Jerry understands the difficulties veterans can face post-service and also knows the therapeutic benefits of farming and feeding people.
The work Jerry, Darryl, and Alan are doing is extraordinary. I am eager to follow their story as the company continues to grow and I’m proud to see an Arkansas company dedicated to the sustainable food movement. I encourage you to check out their website and follow their story on social media (links below) or check out their podcast interview with one of my favorite Dr. Kasey Johnson with The Unlock Wellness Podcast.