Oliver North headlines dinner at World Ag Expo

February 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Combat decorated Marine Colonel Oliver North spoke in Tulare on Wednesday night. He was the keynote speaker at the World Ag Expo. He promoted the Ag Warriors program. It was started at last year's expo and works to connect veterans with jobs in agriculture.

North served 22 years in the Marines and was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for valor and two Purple Hearts for wounds received in combat. He now hosts a Television show on The Fox News Channel.

He spoke for about an hour inside the "entertainment pavilion" at the Expo. He talked about military life, military service, and the importance of finding employment for veterans. Colonel North told members of the local media at an earlier press conference that he came to Tulare as "the husband of a farmer and as a veteran." And in that order.

He believes the Ag Warriors program should be replicated across the nation. "You describe a skill set to me that is appropriate in the agriculture business of America in the broadest scope. I will show you a military person who can fit in that skill set."

After 10 years in the Air Force, Lemoore native Steven McCartha couldn't agree more. He tells Action News, when he first got out of the military, he had a hard time landing steady employment. He eventually found Ag Warriors. The program gave him the right tools to start his own business. "Resume building, job searching, mentoring, that kind of thing. Facilitating what each veteran needs help with the transition. Even if it's a couple years or a short stint out of the military."

College student and former Navy Seamn Nicholas Hanhart found Ag Warriors from a Google internet search. After two deployments, he says he can pretty much do anything. "You need critical thinking skills to make snap decisions, you need to think on your feet and that's the day in the life of a guy in agriculture."

North says agriculture is America's first real profession. Nicholas Hanhart just hopes the growing field will one day include him. "Whoever needs a good employee, a good guy, I'm your man."

Ag Warriors also connects veterans with educational resources. The Expo continues on Thursday from 9am to 4pm.


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