BANGOR — Donovan Todd has been named the new executive director for the United Farmer Veterans of Maine.

Todd has worked in the food and agriculture sectors since graduating in 1979 from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics. He has held key positions in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers Home Administration and private agribusinesses. In 2009, he became the state executive director for the Farm Service Agency, a post he retired from in January 2017.

Jerry Ireland, who served as a founder and president of the United Farmers Veterans of Maine for the past 18 months, will continue as CEO to implement new initiatives that promote growth and entrepreneurship for the Maine veterans who belong to the organization.

After organizing the MaineGrown by Vets branding, community breakfasts, Pets for Vets, education training and other programs, he’ll be bringing new leaders on board to manage the for-profit MaineFirst Co-op for a range of products and services produced in Maine.

“Don Todd brings a wealth of agriculture experience to our organization, especially now as we enter Phase 2 of our growth and mission,” Ireland said. “Don has been a strong advocate from the first day I met him in early 2015 for transitioning veterans into agriculture. He led by example with FSA by hiring the first loan officers that were veterans and now we have four of them going into 2018.

“Don has shared our vision that if we could get our veterans inside a tractor we could expand, grow and reshape Maine ag for the better,” Ireland continued. “I am very proud to turn day-to-day operations over to someone like Don that will help us grow and continue to develop more opportunities for all our veterans in Maine through agriculture.”

United Farmer Veterans of Maine is a statewide nonprofit. During a Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce breakfast in November, Ireland announced plans for a veterans-based farming collective in New Auburn.

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