Shane was born and raised in Kenton, OH, working on his grandfather’s 68 acre farm in northwest Ohio. The farm has been in the family, who have a long history of military service, for three generations.

Shane joined the army in 2001 and was stationed in Germany, where he met his wife, who was also a soldier. He served in Kosovo and Iraq, and sustained injuries while there. Upon his discharge in 2005, he came back to Ohio with his wife and children, and worked on a farming co-op for a year, and then transitioned to the gas and oil industry for 5 years, but continued farming as well. In 2011, he made the decision to serve again, joined the US Border Patrol, and moved to Laredo, TX. It was during his time with the US Border Patrol that his service-connected injuries were re-injured, and in January 2014 he began medical retirement from the US Border Patrol.

During his recovery period he found the Farmer Veteran Coalition and decided it may be time to go back to the family farm. He has changed the direction of the farming, and began cattle ranching, using a loan from a local bank. It’s been a slow, but steady process, and is coming around nicely.

Shane is a 2014 FVC Fellowship Fund recipient funded through the Bob Woodruff Foundation. With the Fellowship grant, Shane was able to acquire a starter herd, fencing equipment, an insulated automatic waterer, and a round bailer, which is especially instrumental to his operation where square bailing poses physical challenges.

In January 2015, Shane certified his cattle in the Homegrown by Heroes program. With this certification, he joins the growing ranks of Homegrown by Heroes producers, which helps draw attention to his products, and at the same time helps to grow the HBH label nationally. He proudly displays the HBH sign at the road entrance to his property which brings more visibility to his farm. He feels that his sustainable agriculture practices align well with the Homegrown by Heroes program.

Shane notes that both Farmer Veteran Coalition and the Homegrown by Heroes program have provided excellent support, and helping even veterans without a background in agriculture to break the barrier to enter into careers in agriculture, which can be very difficult without help and guidance.