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Military Veterans in Agriculture:
How Far We've Come & How Far We Need to Go

By Kristine Penning, Creative Marketing Specialist

After adopting the Ag Warriors program in 2013 and promoting the recruitment of military veterans and professionals into the agricultural industry for many years, decided to take a look at the issue from a more critical standpoint. The "Veterans and Military Professionals in the Agricultural Workplace" survey was conducted this summer with responses from more than 100 people including both agricultural employers and military veterans and professionals in the industry.

Respondents were asked various questions regarding the scope of receptiveness toward hiring military veterans as well as potential obstacles involved in encouraging increased recruitment of veterans. Our analysis revealed both great successes as well as challenges.

Agriculture is Very Receptive to Hiring Veterans

Agricultural employers responded very positively toward hiring military veterans. In fact, two-thirds of employer participants who had employed veterans encountered no challenges during the hiring and employment process and nearly 90% of employers stated that they would encourage other agricultural organizations to hire military professionals or veterans. Employers listed leadership, reliability, and discipline in their top five characteristics they felt military veterans and professionals brought to the agricultural workplace.

Military veterans and professionals also expressed positivity toward the receptiveness of the agricultural industry hiring veterans, with 44% saying agriculture was more receptive than other industries.

Challenges Moving Forward

Both employers and military veterans agreed that military veterans could improve upon their knowledge about the agricultural industry and careers. Translating military skills and experience also proved to be a challenge from participating military veterans' responses. More than half of military respondents felt that their coworkers or supervisors had a hard time relating to their military.

For a more detailed analysis, download the full Survey Report free online.

We also encourage all military job seekers on to join the Ag Warriors movement by creating a job seeker account and listing yourself as an "Ag Warrior." More information on that as well as how employers can get involved can be found on our Ag Warriors page.