Joel Heinzeroth always knew he wanted to farm. He also wanted to serve his country. After a 20-year career in the Army, Heinzeroth is retiring this summer at the rank of Major and will work full time on his farm and ranch near Mountain Park in southwest Oklahoma.
His “second” career as a farmer and rancher is made possible by assistance from the Famer Veteran Coalition.
Heinzeroth, 44, grew up on a north central Iowa farm growing corn, soybeans and hogs. The youngest of six children, his parents encouraged him to pursue another career.
Three deployments to Iraq and one to Korea followed his graduation from the ROTC program at Northwest Missouri State University. As a Field Artillery Officer he was often on the front lines, away from his family while serving his country.
“My career as an Army officer often took me away from my family,” Heinzeroth said. “I am looking forward to spending more time at home, working on the ranch with my family.”
The veteran purchased 440 acres in Kiowa County and rents another 100 acres. The main focus of the ranch is a 80-head commercial cow herd.