Men and women returning from military service suffer a high incidence of unemployment, social dislocation and loss of sense of purpose. These stresses, with or without the presence of other disabilities, can lead to profound discouragement and frustration. Although injury and trauma can play a large role in the difficulty of transitioning to civilian life, reintegration is also obstructed by the difficulty of finding fulfilling work worthy of their skills and dedication. For many veterans, the problem is not just finding a job, it’s also finding a mission.
A farming crisis?
America faces a growing shortage of farmers. By 2030 it is expected that 70% of the nation’s private farm and ranch lands will change hands, and almost one-quarter of all farmers will retire.1 The median age of farmers today is 57 and rising. At the same time, growing demand for local, sustainably-grown food has created a new economic opportunity for independent farmers within 300 miles of large urban centers like New York City. Heroic Food was conceived as a way to help veterans address the challenges of transition, while also helping the nation address its growing need for new farmers and burgeoning demand for locally, sustainably grown food.