Colin Archipley wakes up at 5 a.m. to write lesson plans for the agriculture training program for vets that he and his wife set up in 2007. At his small organic farm near San Diego, the vets study irrigation and hydroponics, work in the greenhouse, and get tips from entrepreneurs and investors for the business plans due at the end of the course. “They were trained to use rifles and coordinate air strikes, not operate businesses,” Archipley says, “but we tap into the leadership skills they’ve obtained in the military.”
A veteran’s understanding of the world is completely different from the average American’s. The veteran community understands how their everyday actions tie into the bigger picture.
How did you know that this was what you wanted to do?
We started producing ourselves, and we got into greenhouse and hydroponics and that’s what really intrigued me, because it was the integration of technology with crop production. We probably wouldn’t be doing this otherwise, because spending a day out in the fields weeding or whatever didn’t really intrigue me.