The Veteran Outreach Coordinator (VOC) is responsible for networking with SRAPs and other relevant organizations to improve opportunities and outcomes for farmer veteran AgrAbility clients. The VOC represents AgrAbility at various veteran- and agriculture-related events, assists in planning and conducting AgrAbility’s veteran’s initiatives, and serves as a consultative resource for SRAP’s. This staff member is also responsible for providing and updating resource information pertinent to farmer veterans and beginning farmer veterans. The VOC works closely with the Farmer Veteran Coalition and other veteran organizations.
Joe Ricker has a strong background in the military and owns an apiary and orchard in Hancock County, Indiana. He first encountered AgrAbility in 2016 and also interned with AgrAbility while in the DoD Skillsbridge program. He retired as a colonel after 30 years of service, including two deployments, two tours at the Pentagon, and numerous leaderships positions focused on supporting soldiers and Army Special Forces. He is the founder and president of At Ease Orchard LTD, a non-profit assisting veterans in beekeeping and other agriculture areas.