After 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 past 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 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. While only 20% of participating employers answered that they experienced challenges while employing veterans, the top reason was lack of agricultural knowledge and experience.

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. Furthermore, 70% of veterans wished agricultural employers better understood a veteran’s capabilities when hiring and working with them.

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

Editor’s Note: Kristine Penning is a creative marketing specialist for In 2012, was chosen to continue the Ag Warriors program by the International Agri-Center. Ag Warriors opens the door for employers and veterans to connect regarding real-time employment and career opportunities within the agribusiness and food industries via To learn more about this program and to register as either an Ag Warrior or to hire Ag Warriors, visit