Veterans explore opportunities for after the military in agriculture

Veterans explore opportunities for after the military in agriculture

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - From the battlefield to the corn field, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County is hoping to interest veterans or soon-to-be veterans into entering agriculture.

A group of service members toured Sullivan’s Heifer Hotel in Carthage Saturday where they could learn about different career opportunities in agriculture.

“We have a small operation, so if it’s something that they want to do on their own to get introduced to agriculture, we’ve got a good setup here for a one person job,” said Kristy Sullivan, Sullivan’s Heifer Hotel co-owner.

Organizers who specialize in the farming industry with Cornell say farming could be a good fit, especially for veterans.

“There is a great synergy between being military and all the values all the strengths that our military bring us, and the same values that are needed in farming,” said Catherine Moore, Cornell Cooperative Extension Agricultural Natural Resources Leader.

On the tour, the Sullivans talked about boarding cows, otherwise known as raising calves for other farmers until they are ready to milk. They also talked about tilling land, opportunities in maple production, and the overall benefits of working in agriculture after serving.

“They’re hard workers obviously, and it takes a lot of hard work to be a farmer,” said Sullivan.

Military spouse Juliana Goodwin is looking to start a ranch with her husband when he leaves the army.

“I was really interested in the idea of boarding the heifers and finding that niche market, and I think it’s important for people to realize how farming has changed over the years and people are finding niche markets as opposed to doing it all like we used to,” said Goodwin.

Although this event was catered toward military service members, organizers say anyone can join the agriculture industry.

“We all eat, so we all have to understand where our food comes from, how the food industry works, and this is all part of it,” said Moore.

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