Win-Win. Ground Operations: From Battlefields to Farmfields

May 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ground Operations: From Battlefields to Farmfields

Ground Operations: From Battlefields to Farmfields on Indiegogo

I am a big fan of enterprising people solving pressing problems, and getting really creative in the process … so that in the end they create a win-win, or even a win-win-win.

This happens in the for-profit world (think: Edun, Tom’s Shoes, Warby Parker, Maiyet, Patagonia), but often the most interesting examples are birthed in the not-for-profit world, where in order to be successful, the need to think outside of the proverbial box is paramount.  As is the need to create business models where there’s not just one beneficiary, but two, or more.

For the next three days, that’s the focus – organizations solving big problems and helping or enabling multiple constituencies, as the solution and the result.

With Memorial Day less than a week away, and because there is a live Indigogo fundraising campaign with just six days left on the clock, I am starting with the documentary film Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields.

I learned about this amazing program, which helps military veterans become gainfully and meaningfully employed now that they’re back from the battlefield, via Twitter, specifically via Ellen Gustafson (@ellengustafson).  Currently co-founder of Food Tank, I have been an admirer of Ms. Gustasfson’s from a few years back, when she launched two innovative food programs, ChangeDinner and 30 Project (not to mention that she was co-founder of FEED, along with Lauren Bush Lauren).

And she’s also part of the Ground Operations documentary, a sponsored project of From the Heart Productions.  Here is the film’s tagline and the organization’s mission:

America needs a million new farmers. Veteran’s want the job.

The mission of Ground Operations is to strengthen the growing network of combat veterans transitioning into new careers in sustainable farming and ranching. Let’s help them get started and build their resources, so that they can create healthy new lives for themselves and food security for communities across America.

Why Does This Matter?

Our warriors are returning from battle. They’re having a really tough time coming home to high unemployment, PTSD and pain killers, delayed disability claims, and astronomical suicide rates. They need better alternatives. They need a new mission.

At the same time, we are losing half of America’s food producers to retirement. The USDA is calling for one million new farmers and ranchers to fill the gap.

Agriculture’s problem is the veterans’ solution. 


Can you think of a way to do the same in your business?  Is there a problem you want to solve that could benefit from some radical re-thinking?  Is there a company you can work with who can help you solve it in a way that you both win – big?  A solution where the win-win is inherent in the partnership as the solution?

Chew on these questions while you’re on your drive to the beach or the lake or wine store and grocery store.  And for inspiration, visit the Ground Operations Indiegogo campaign, watch the fundraising video and contribute if you can. This is a fantastic program with serious potential, but they need the means to spread the word to the veterans.  This program funds that solution.  You can be a part of it.  Another win-win.


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