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Farm Life Show (Ep. 9) - Battlefields to Fertile Fields

October 19, 2022


In late August we were fortunate to host Army Captain Gil De Leon for a week long visit to our farm.

Capt. De Leon is a 17-year Army Veteran, husband, father to 6 kids....and an aspiring regenerative farmer.

Let me tell you a little bit about his story, why we were privileged to host him in Roanoke, and how he's transitioning from wearing combat gear to a cowboy hat and boots...

Captain Gil's Army career, which has included both reserve time and active duty with a number of overseas deployments, is nearing its end in February 2023.

He was inspired to pursue and go "all in" on his second calling not only because of his vision and belief in the future of regenerative farming, but also for a lifestyle that will make him more fully available and present for his wife and young family.

Blake and I sat down to interview him for a soon-to-be-released podcast where he outlined a new Army Certified transitional program called Battle Fields to Fertile Fields.

Gil is actually working hand-in-hand with our friends at Understanding Ag and the Soil Health Academy to develop this new program, of which Gil is the first intern farmer.

Essentially, Gil and the leaders he's working with are laying the groundwork for what we hope is a future pipeline for retiring seasoned military leaders to pursue regenerative farming, too.

The vision of the program is to offer hands on experience and mentorship opportunities around the country. While here, Gil shadowed Blake and his team to learn about and help move animals to fresh pastures, assess animal health and assist with needed repairs.

He also spoke with us brothers about the business side of finding and connecting with customers to find homes for the meat that's being produced.

All told, it was a well-rounded week of learning.

We were thrilled to be selected as the first farm that Gil visited as this exciting new program gets its start.

Here at Seven Sons farms, we aren't keeping any trade secrets. In fact, we seek to openly share what we've learned to help advance regenerative farming and farms across the globe.

We know that making a BIG impact and ultimately changing the broken food system can only happen by influencing change in one community at a time.

Hosting an aspiring farmer like Gil was another way for us to give of our time to advance the future of regenerative farming.

Up next, Gil will continue on a 3-month tour of regenerative farms around the USA with stops currently planned in Ohio, North Carolina, Texas and more.

We wish the best of luck to Captain De Leon and the Battle Fields to Fertile Fields program.

Thanks for reading.

Brock Hitzfield

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