Lifestyle Livestock News

New learning opportunities for veterans in the ag industry


The agriculture industry and veterans have always seemed to align with each other — it must be the face that they are both hardworking individuals who expect nothing in return. In recognizing this special relationship, different agriculture industries are often extending a helping hand to allow veterans to become more active within our industry. 

Ranchers are able to work with their cattle and the land while providing a service to others. Veterans who are interested in that lifestyle are receiving a little help from two different companies. Harvest Returns, an agriculture investing platform, has partnered with Bear Hug Cattle Company, a nonprofit providing veterans with opportunities in the ranching community.

The companies will give veterans the resources, knowledge, and funding necessary to be successful in the ranching industry. Transitioning service members are offered a 10-week intensive course where attendees gain confidence in horsemanship, ranch tasks, basic ranch economics, and receive field training at historic operational ranches in the western U.S.

“Culturally, ranching is very similar to the military,” said Benjamin Minden, Founder of Bear Hug Cattle Company. “Veterans and ranchers alike are selfless, value driven, leadership focused, hardworking, outdoor oriented, and mission centered. Veterans are trained to get up early, work long hours in tough environments, and function as part of a small team. This military work ethic is something highly sought after by ranch owners across the country, but many service members typically lack the knowledge and resources to learn how to make this transitional leap.”

Harvest Returns will teach a ranching-based finance course. The company is also offering graduates discounted fund-raising services on their platform.

“As a company founded and run by veterans, our partnership with Bear Hug Cattle Company is a natural fit,” said Chris Rawley, a 29-year Navy veteran and CEO of Harvest Returns. “We are excited about working with new veteran ranchers and helping them fund their operations.”

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