I was recently sorting through some old boxes in the garage when I found a collection of letters that were written by my grandfather to his parents during World War II. The return addresses were from San Francisco, Hawaii, and all over the South Pacific, all addressed to his small family farm in Milo, Iowa. They talk about the everyday things that mattered most to him-- when they will see each other next, how bad the provisions are on the ship, the type of silverware to buy after he gets married, and that year’s harvest (apparently 32 bu/ac was pretty good in 1943).
As a Veteran myself, I recognize in his letters many of the values deeply embedded in military service reflected in farming culture. And it’s no surprise that so many American farming families send their sons and daughters into the service, and that so many service members transition into farming once they return to civilian life: the lifestyle, values and culture are a natural fit. Both require forgoing immediate gratification in favor of long-term goals, taking measured risk for greater good, and working as a team to get the job done. Not to mention the long and early hours!
So this Veterans Day, we want to recognize those Farmer-Veterans who have, and continue to, tirelessly and faithfully serve our country.
Finance and Credit Manager, Farmers Business Network
U.S. Army (Ret.)
A Special Salute to Veterans at Farmers Business Network
We would like to say a special thank you to every veteran who has served their country. We're lucky to have several veterans on our team, who now serve farmers everyday with inspiring fervor. Read their stories below...
Andy Cahoy, former U.S. Army Captain, is now Director of Sales at FBN and an MBA graduate of Stanford Business School. Andy graduated Valedictorian of his class and first in mathematics from the US Military Academy at West Point. He served nearly 6 years in the US Army and as an infantry company executive officer in Afghanistan he was awarded the Bronze Star. Andy's final assignment in the Army was as a Captain in the "Old Guard", where he commanded honor guards for the Secretary of Defense, White House, and Arlington National Cemetery. Andy hails from Aberdeen, South Dakota and manages farmland with his family.
Dennis Hoppe proudly served from 1998 to 2006 in Nebraska's Army National Guard with the 1-167 Cavalry based out of Fremont Nebraska. He completed his basic and advanced training in college at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After college, he served with the Army in Kuwait at Camp Doha and spent another few years at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska. After spending a few years with CASE IH, Dennis now lives near Lincoln, Nebraska and works alongside FBN members all across Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and the central plains.
Cody Beck comes from a proud 3rd generation military & 2nd generation Army family. He joined the Army on September 1st, 2011 and finished Basic Training and AIT in March of 2012. Cody has spent the past few years serving with the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion in Arden Hills, Minnesota and has received 2 Army Achievement Medals. He now supports farmer members as a Member Services Lead in our Sioux Falls, South Dakota office.
Erik Malmstrom is General Manager of FBN Crop MarketingTM. Earlier in his career, he served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, graduating from Army Ranger and Airborne Schools and earning the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding combat service as a rifle platoon leader in eastern Afghanistan. He was deeply honored to serve his country and lead brave young Americans in combat. He strives to apply the values that were ingrained in him in the Army, including teamwork, commitment to mission, selfless service, and integrity, to his work on behalf of farmers at Farmers Business Network.