Hear the Conversation 26:43 – 15.2 mb mp3
“I enlisted in a direct response to the 9/11 attacks. I’m a fourth generation soldier. From a very early age, it was instilled upon me, that national service was very important. When your country needed you, it was your responsibility to stand up to that need,” Adam Ingrao, PhD student in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University and executive director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan, tells Kraig Ehm on In the Field.
Adam was brought in to MSU on a Plant Science Recruitment Fellowship and he ended up in entomology. The PhD program required an enrichment component of nine credits. “I proposed I would develop a state-wide veterans outreach program, to help veterans connect with careers in agriculture,” Ingrao explains. And that led to him being named executive director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan, whose goal is to mobilize veterans to feed America.
According to Ingrao, connecting farmers with veterans is not much of a stretch. “It really is just a conversation that has to take place. And when that conversation happens with another veteran, usually the veterans respond really well. And it starts to sink in that maybe this is something that I can think about doing as a career.”