Damn Good Biking

Damn Good Biking
Mammath Mountain

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Meeting a new Veteran

Hi guys this is something my boss wrote after we recently met another of our vets for the first time. The veteran adam, is a remarkable young man, he really emphasises the quality of people we are taking on.

We left Mexico that day at 1030, we arrived in Berkeley at 0100.
that's how we roll.

Meeting Adam Burke

Yesterday Army Vet turned farmer Josh Anderson and I left the 85 degree weather of Maneadero, Mexico, near Del Cabo’s packing facility and drove up to Hesperia, in the high desert East of Los Angeles. We climbed up to about 4000 feet elevation, and the temperatures dropped and the wind picked up. The higher mountains were covered with snow.

We went to meet Adam Burke, a young Iraq Army vet who wants to farm blueberries where he grew up in Central Florida. Adam got hit by mortar shrapnel in the Sunni Triangle in 2004, two weeks before he was to get out. Adam’s group was hunting down Saddam Hussein’s sons.

“Did you see them?” I asked. “After they were dead,” he said.

Adam is an athletic looking young man with an endearing smile, but walks with a cane. He has trouble bending over.

“I was the first person in my family to NOT go directly into farming,” Adam said. “I spent all my childhood having to pick vegetables, and didn’t want to do it anymore. I’d give anything to be able to pick right now.”

Adam has put together a well researched crop plan, marketing plan and business plan. He wants to put two year old berry plants into 30 gallon containers, using pine bark and azalea fertilizer. He wants to plant early yielding high-bush plants. “I want to hire other vets,” he said. “This way my friends can pick, even if they lost their legs, or have just one arm.”

Adam’s wife, Michelle, grew up in a farming family, too. Now she’s a traveling pediatric nurse and they travel the country helping out at understaffed hospitals. They were going to leave California on Saturday but asked to stay into April so they could connect more with the Farmer-Veteran Coalition. We want to make Adam’s dream of farming a reality

Farmer-Veteran Coalition

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