The entire Farm Credit System is committed to helping farmer veterans get their start in agriculture and ease the transition to civilian life. GreenStone is proud to be apart of the veteran initiative to help these heroes succeed.
Jed Welder is the owner and operator of Trinity Farms in Greenville, Michigan, where he raises corn, soybeans and oats on over 1,000 acres. He also operates a custom wheat harvesting and soybean rolling business. Before he embarked on a career as a farmer, Jed served as an officer in the United States Army for more than 10 years, with tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia, serving as an armor officer.
“I served with some of the greatest men and women in the world,” said Jed regarding his time in the military. In 2008, he and his wife made the decision to transition from Army life to farm life. They returned to Michigan to start a family and their farm. “We loved moving to the country and enjoyed the challenges of learning this new profession,” says Jed. As they learned, the Welders quickly realized they would need access to land and capital in order to make their dreams of farming a reality.
Jed knew that local farming communities are like the military – a close-knit group. Jed got to know some farmers in the area, and sought their advice on getting started. Several recommended the local Farm Credit explaining that many of their local banks were unable, for one reason or another, to provide operating loans to farmers. Heeding their guidance, Jed prepared a business plan and made an appointment with a loan officer at his local GreenStone branch. “They understood what I wanted to do and what I needed to run my operation. They made good, solid recommendations, and over time became a trusted partner.”
With challenging times on the horizon for much of the agricultural industry, Jed recognizes the importance of working with a lender like GreenStone, who not only understands the market cycles, but will be there to support rural communities and agriculture in good years and in challenging years as well. "There is an exciting revolution in precision agriculture and technology that will help us be more efficient, but at the same time the cost of farming increases every year,” said Jed. “Having a lender that works with me, that knows my farm and the challenges I face, is more important than ever.”
After years of serving his country in the Army, Jed and his family serve again, this time through the hard work and dedication that is required of the farmers who provide the world with food and fuel.
GreenStone Farm Credit Services thanks Jed, and all veteran farmers like him, for their service to our country and their commitment to our rural communities.
Jed joined more than 30 veterans in Washington, D.C. at the Farm Credit Farmer Veteran Fly-In in July 2018. Farm Credit invited these veterans to Washington to help policymakers understand the importance of programs that enable returning service members to forge meaningful careers in agriculture. Jed also served as a panelist at the Senate Agriculture Committee, sharing his journey with policymakers.