Althea Raiford joined the Navy during Operation Desert Shield. Over a 20 year military career, Althea was deployed as a Navy Seabee to Kuwait and Iraq, where she maintained security for base camps and was a convoy commander.
Matthew Raiford served in the Army for nine years, including deployments in support of Desert Storm. After his service, Matthew built a successful culinary career. Through his interest in food and his families farming legacy Matthew and sister Althea decided to reclaim the family farm for production agriculture.
The siblings are the sixth generation of African-American farmers to farm the land in coastal Georgia. They raise organic fruits trees and mixed vegetables, as well as pastured poultry and hogs.
Through the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund both Althea and Matthew were awarded with grants. With his grant, Matthew will purchase poultry slaughter equipment to help kick-start his poultry business. With her grant, Althea was able to purchase a hoop house and trees for her orchard. These purchases have enabled the siblings to grow their farm and create a foundation for future Raiford farmers.