Why We Do It...
Chris Wellington, farmer veteran co-owner of Muddy Roots Farm
"There is no doubt in my mind that if Heroic Food was not part of my life, I would not be farming full time today."
March 2019: "During the summer of 2016 I attended Heroic Food very first workshop on high tunnel construction at their original incubator farm in Hudson, NY. At this point in my life my wife and I were going through a tough time with where the career choices we had chosen for ourselves were leading us; we were very unhappy. We were both aching to farm, but up until that summer it was never even seen as a way to make a living. At the time I was completely immersing myself in books, podcasts and you-tube videos trying to wrap my head around all the new small scale ways of farming. At a Heroic Food workshop I was able to connect with other veterans who were as obsessed with this new way of farming as I was.
There is a very clear place for veterans in agriculture, and to be completely honest if I was not farming today I can assure you I would be much worse off mentally. Farming is a place veterans can go where the learning will never ever cease, they will always be challenged, both physically and mentally, and they will most importantly continue to be given the opportunity to serve. I was truly inspired after leaving that event and was clearly on my way to creating the vision of my future career. The following season both my wife and I quit our jobs and went all in with our farm, we currently produce vegetable on approximately ½ acre, we raise chickens, turkeys and pigs for meat, sell to over a dozen restaurants and provide 2 farmers markets with our wares.
It became clear to me that all we needed was a push in the right direction and reassurance that there was people in our corner, Heroic Food fulfilled both of those tasks."
"The experience I had within the program was one of the best of my life. I was able to stretch myself beyond anything I could ever imagine. The opportunity to work on an amazing farm, be accepted, and be supported throughout the entire process made it so much easier and rewarding. I was able to make connections that will last a lifetime. I received more knowledge than I can even quantify. This was a life changing experience. Without Heroic Food I would not be where I am today. The resources, feedback, and information will help me navigate my career in agriculture for the rest of my life."
Cameron Pedigo, 2018 Immersion Program graduate.
“Our experience with Heroic Food has been wonderful. They are giving veterans the tools and knowledge they need to be successful in agriculture and farming. Reconnecting with the land is both therapeutic and rewarding for us all. Soldiers are finding solace through farming and we are rebuilding our farming ranks to provide food security to the nation."
Justin Riccobono of Hudson Valley Hops and his father, Salvatore Riccobono of Patchwork Quilt Farmstead