Three years ago, World Ag Expo board members voted to start the Ag Warriors program to help returning veterans find employment in agriculture. They kicked off the program with an appearance by former President George W. Bush at the 2012 World Ag Expo and followed up a year later with a speech by Colonel Oliver North.
But board members then decided it was time to take the program to a new level. “We found we know a lot about putting on farm shows, but not much about helping folks find jobs,” said Jerry Sinift, CEO of the Tulare, Calif.-based International Agri-Center, the site of World Ag Expo.
At this year’s WAE, Sinift handed off the Ag Warriors program to AgCareers.com during a press briefing that followed the opening ceremonies of this year’s World Ag Expo. Sinift also introduced one of the success stories of AgWarriors – the hiring of former Navy Corpsman Nick Hanhart by Tulare, Calif.-based J.D. Heiskell.
“Ag Warriors gave us the opportunity to take a look at an exceptional young man – to vet the vet, so to speak,” said J.D. Heiskell Chairman Scott Hilman. “This was an employee who already possessed many of the leadership and team-building skills we’re looking for; someone who was trained by by one of the best training organizations in the world – the U.S. military.”
“I was wondering how I could break into this industry, and Ag Warriors gave me the opportunity to do that. I am very thankful, and very happy,” said Hanart, who began working withj J.D. Heiskell at one of its feed mills on Jan. 1.