Grenwelge, C., Peterson, R., Pilosi, E., Schattenberg, P., 2/26/2014. “Texas AgrAbility helping military veterans, agricultural producers with disabilities”. Excerpt from http://today.agrilife.org/2014/02/26/texas-agrability/.
Another military veteran who has benefited from Texas AgrAbility is Doug Havemann, a former Army and Army National Guard member who served in Desert Storm. Havemann and wife Melissa operate Mesquite Field Farm, which they describe as “a small off-grid cottage farm located southeast of San Antonio.”
“We produce rotationally grazed grass-fed beef on about 20 acres in Nixon,” said Havemann, who left the service in 1998. “We don’t use any chemicals on our cattle or the farm for that matter, nor do we feed them grain. Our cattle eat grass. After ensuring we had adequate grass for the cattle, we began operations in earnest in 2013.
“We made good decisions and last year we were able to increase the number of livestock on the property. And 2014 looks to be a great year. In fact, we’ve already sold out of our grass-fed beef to date.”
Havemann said he learned about and attended the Battleground to Breaking Ground program while attending a farm and ranch show last year on the San Antonio Livestock Exposition grounds.
“At the program I got a lot of good information about business planning,” he said. “I only regret that I didn’t find out about Texas AgrAbility sooner — and about possible funding through the Young Farmers Grant. At 46, I’m just one year too old for that. I guess the main thing I took away from the program was that I was delighted that people were finally talking about the ways current and former military could get involved in production agriculture.”