The Kentucky Department of Agriculture began a new program in January called Homegrown by Heroes, in addition to its Kentucky Proud program that has been in use for several years.

The program provides a brand for growers who have served or currently serve in the U.S. military.

“It recognizes and allows consumers to support those producers,” said Adam Watson, program manager.

There are 32 growers involved now but it’s a growing program, according to Watson.

“We have a fairly significant history here with the military, and we’re seeing a lot of positive response,” he said.

A recent tax credit passed by the legislature will allow producers to receive a benefit for donating products to food banks.

“We’re excited to see a lot more produce flowing through those routes,” Watson said.

Another program, Farm to Food Banks, helps food banks purchase seconds that producers have.

“It allows fresh produce to reach those who might not otherwise have it, but it’s also a bonus to the producers because it provides a market for a crop that might otherwise be lost,” Watson said.

In 2012, 217 farmers benefitted from increased cash flow and reduced losses, according to a program update on the website.