The PA Veteran Farming Project is pleased to announce that our inaugural micro-grant in the amount of $415 has been awarded to Sgt. Tim Wagner, USMC, of Newville, PA, Cumberland County, to aid in purchasing an automatic milker for goats.
Heritage Farms in McClellandtown, Fayette County, co-sponsored the microgrant with assistance from American Legion Post 982 in Latrobe, PA. Anna Bonner, of West Virginia, was the lucky winner of a fully dressed hog.
Sgt. Wagner, a Post 9/11 Veteran, became interested in San Clemente Island goats while researching a breed to acquire for his sons and future 4-H'ers. When he learned that the breed had been abandoned by the Navy on the island and was in danger of extinction, he became even more enamored of these plucky goats.
Wagner's small family farm is also home to laying chickens and the dog that loves them, and over a dozen rescue cats. Tim plans to add hogs in the future. Tim was a combat engineer and when not in school for his associate degree in computer studies, working, building chicken coops and other necessities, and teaching his children to care for and love animals, he is exploring value added products to be made with the rich milk of his SCI goats.
Grant review committee members noted Sgt. Wagner's dedication to learning the art and science of goat husbandry and milk production through self-directed study and farm visits to other dairy goat operations despite his very busy life.
Learn more about the rare and endangered San Clemente Island breed of goats at https://www.scigoatfoundation.org/
Heritage Farms proprietor SSGT Larry Daughtery, US Army (Retired), raises heritage breed beef and pork on his 40 acre family farm near Uniontown. His wife, Anita, recently launched a food truck featuring barbecue from Heritage Farms' USDA inspected pork.
Daugherty's donation funded the grant to Wagner, as well as a generous gift to PA Wounded Warriors, Inc., a Pennsylvania 501c3 that assists eligible wounded veterans with emergency assistance needs.
PA Veteran Farming Project salutes SSGT Daugherty for his commitment to supporting his fellow veteran farmers and for modeling entreprenurial spirit in the agricultural community in southwestern Pennsylvania.