Photo courtesy of BrightFarms

BrightFarms offers veterans a growing future in agriculture

November 29, 2018 - 8:54 am

Before Josh Norbury became the vice president of operations for BrightFarms he spent almost 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Infantry and Special Forces Officer. Now, he uses those same leadership skills from the service to handling the day-to-day of a produce company.

(Photo courtesy of BrightFarms)

While the company is still a mid-stage startup, BrightFarms offers locally grown and pesticide-free produce to supermarkets across the United States. Grown in local greenhouses, many of the head growers at BrightFarms are veterans, a record Norbury wants to keep up.

“Finding people who know how to handle the stress of day to day who sometimes have to work really long hours and then manage themselves among other people, and manage relationships in really stressful times is exactly the kind of person I’m looking for,” said Norbury. “I believe that the Army, Navy…anyone in the service can bring that skill set and that value to our company.”

BrightFarms' sustainable growing methods allow their growers to produce lettuce year-round and, thanks to the controlled environment of their greenhouses, they provide safe produce which means their romaine lettuce is safe to consume. From the time growers see a plant to the finished product in stores, Norbury handles all of the operational tasks of the company.

Currently, there are six veterans who hold senior leadership positions within BrightFarms. Last year, the company created an apprentice program for veterans to get on board with the company, many who started in that pipeline have now been promoted.

Listen later: BrightFarms offers vets a bright future

“I’m delighted with the program and I’m delighted with the success that our veterans have had at BrightFarms,” said Norbury.

When Norbury was in the service he didn’t first see the value of his strengths until he started speaking to hiring managers. But he says his ability to lead and coach is very applicable and any employer is looking for those abilities.

In order to better recognize those skills, Norbury advises veterans to start networking now.

“What interests you? We’ve all served but when you look at the world outside [of] the Army there are a million different possibilities. Think about the 10 things that may be of interest to you and then pursue those and try to find companies that are friendly and recognize those values,” said Norbury.

For more information about current open positions at BrightFarms, visit their careers page and send your resume and cover letter to [email protected].

   To comment or share your story email [email protected].