The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 20, 2013

Battlefield to farmer's field

OTTUMWA — If soldiers are coming home to Iowa at a time farmers are leaving rural America, there's a pretty clear opportunity.

"I think agriculture can provide them not just with a livelihood, but also a sense of continuing service," said Ed Cox, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard who now chairs the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa. "There’s a danger in constantly thanking our military, telling them how great they are, putting them on a pedestal, and then they come home and we don’t have a place for them."

The coalition can provide education on agri-business, assist with finding grants or point the way to already existing resources which are in place to help returning veterans, whether they served stateside, overseas, were injured or not injured. But that Cox's group specializes in is finding places for veterans in the world of agriculture. They've been successful in their first year of existence perhaps because it's not just the veterans who benefit, it's the community, too.

We have an aging farm population [retiring], we have people leaving rural Iowa for jobs elsewhere — so bringing in veterans who want to farm can be critical for a rural area and the state of Iowa," Cox said. "At it's core, it’s about Iowa and rural development, not just another veteran program."

And it's not just a farming program, either, he said. It's about ag, about the people who help the farmers grow the food that sustains a nation. And because agriculture is such a wide sector, returning vets will find multiple opportunities to fit their military occupation. There's also the benefit of landing an employee who can follow instructions yet also demonstrate leadership, keep working under less than perfect conditions and show initiative when appropriate.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Lottery sales top $3 million mark

    OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

Photo reprints