Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomeFarmlifeWhy are military veterans so suited to a profession in agriculture?

Why are military veterans so suited to a profession in agriculture?

Established on the finish of 2019, Forces Farming is on a mission to place agricultural careers on the radar of army veterans and repair leavers.

After talking with a buddy who was getting ready to go away the British Military, founder Jeremy Gibbs found that farming was not a profession being actively promoted for service leavers.

There was a lack of know-how and restricted alternative, stumping any efforts to achieve an perception into the trade. 

See additionally: Royal Marines to ship psychological well being coaching to Scotland’s ag sector

In keeping with Mr Gibbs, the similarities and crossovers between working within the army and dealing in agriculture ought to make it a pure profession path. 

“You’re a veteran, I’m a farmer – we’re not that completely different,” he muses. “We each serve the nation, the general public don’t actually perceive us, and we’re most likely not paid fairly what we must be.

“Moreover, there should not many professions that should cope with life and loss of life apart from farming, the emergency companies and the armed forces.”


Psychological and bodily resilience, and the flexibility to finish duties with the provisions at hand are the apparent assets within the arsenal of many veterans, however their huge talent units usually lengthen far past that.

With the typical age of service leavers being simply 29, Mr Gibbs says they will supply management and a wealth of transferable abilities that may each profit a farm enterprise and supply an ideal basis for retraining and growth into extra technical roles. 

Jeremy Gibbs talking at conference

© Jeremy Gibbs

“A veteran mentioned to me just lately that farmers are going via a transition on the minute – a bit like military leavers,” says Mr Gibbs. 

“From an out of doors perspective, it hit the nail on the pinnacle and reinforces why you’ll wish to deliver somebody into your small business that has been via a transitional interval of change. They’re wanting forward of everybody else.”

Course of

To assist place and retain these new entrants into the trade, Forces Farming presents a four-step course of. 

Termed “Perception”, “Expertise”, “Placement” and “Improvement”, the steps start preliminary talks, farm excursions and consultations, via to exploring pursuits, similar to livestock dealing with and machine operation.

After this, candidates embark on longer-term farm placements, which might last as long as 18 months.

However, matching farmers with service leavers isn’t any simple process. Each week, Mr Gibbs receives a number of enquiries from farmers seeking to make use of military veterans, however says many don’t supply a transparent profession path with coaching. 

“The toughest half is getting some construction. I get a variety of enquiries from farmers searching for somebody, however it’s generally a battle to search out an employer that’s seeking to truly develop somebody.”

This could generally result in troublesome conversations, he admits. “Those that scare me are those that say ‘we’re milking 400 cows – we want new workers each couple of months and may’t discover anybody dependable’. Possibly there’s a cause why folks aren’t staying.

“Profitable placements are with associate farms which have a growth and coaching construction in place, not farms simply searching for somebody to come back in, reduction milk and be left on their very own after two days. That may push folks again out of the trade.”

At the moment, Mr Gibbs has almost 30 army service leavers which can be at numerous phases of the Forces Farming course of.

From tanks to tractors…

Veteran Will Foster left the British Military throughout Covid, and was instantly plunged into uncertainty looking for an occupation.

Will Foster in army uniform

© Will Foster

He beforehand labored on the Armoured Preventing Car technical coaching college, instructing the subsequent era of tank operators, and located {that a} profession in agriculture had by no means been placed on his radar.

“As a child I grew up round animals and harvests and equipment – I at all times thought farming was a ‘born and bred’ type of trade the place you needed to reside on a farm, be born into it, or marry into it.”

Mr Foster first got here throughout Forces Farming via LinkedIn, the place founder Jeremy Gibbs was capable of counsel that, primarily based on the sturdy engineering basis he already had, he might simply adapt to an agricultural engineering position.

Will Foster at John Deere

© Will Foster

“There was a dormant youngster within me that mentioned ‘who doesn’t wish to play with tractors?’” mentioned Mr Foster, who’s now in his third 12 months as an agricultural engineer at provide firm Ben Burgess.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments