Board of Directors
President / Meridian / Navy
I’m a Navy Veteran serving during the Cold War from 1983-1987. I was a radioman that served aboard the USS California CGN-36. The USS California was based out of Alameda, CA. We spent most of our time in the Persian Gulf with several operations off the coast of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, playing with the Russian submarine navy.
After the service, I went to college to earn a Natural Resource Management and Spatial Information Systems degree. I have worked for a large Agribusiness, J.R. Simplot, since 1997. For the first ten years with Simplot, I concentrated on Precision Agriculture, where I introduced technology concepts to customers (farmers) to improve crop yield and quality for permanent and row crops. Since 2008, I’ve concentrated on implementing Enterprise Geographic Information Systems to assist in the company’s many facets to improve efficiencies.
I am currently a member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and very active in my Veteran of Foreign Wars Meridian Post 4000. It was Christi Tedder that introduced me to the FVC and its mission. I am interested in becoming part of the Chapter Organizing Committee because I have been a Veteran in the agriculture industry for the past 23 years. My experience with the J.R. Simplot Company has allowed me to see many facets of farming and ranching. I want to bring those experiences and expertise to assist my fellow Veterans.
Vice President / Twin Falls / Army
I was born and raised in Moses Lake, Washington. During my teenage years, my parents moved out to the country, next to their best friends who owned a ranch. I spent a majority of my teenage years working on the ranch helping tend cattle, irrigate pastures, and make hay (literally). During the same time, I raised and sold steers through 4-H and later FFA. This is where I first got the bug for wanting to raise livestock.
After graduating from High School, I went into the Army. After I finished my enlistment, I spent the next five years earning my degree in Civil Engineering. After graduating from college, I went to work in the private sector, then moved onto working for the City of Moses Lake, and I am now currently with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) which I have been at for 20 years now.
We first came to Idaho in 2003 and I ended up making friends with a local farmer who farms 1000 acres in Hansen, Idaho, I spent a lot of time helping him on his farm because I found joy in doing the work. In 2006, we moved to Oregon where I received a promotion while still with the USFS. At that time our daughters were old enough to join 4H, where we decided to raise sheep. Then, in 2010, we moved back to Kimberly, Idaho, where we purchased a house with a shop on 2.2 acres. Within two weeks of moving into our home, we purchased two weaner pigs to raise for ourselves. That was the seed that got us started in expanding our little farm. When friends saw what we were doing they asked us to raise pigs for them as well. We eventually bought sows in order to have them bred so we could raise our very own piglets to either sale as young pigs or ones that were ready for butchering. We also began adding more laying hens to our operation, making income from selling their eggs.
Even though we are a very small operation, we decided to turn it into an official business. So, in 2017, we started Reap A Harvest Farm. Our plan is to continue to grow our operation, then when I retire it is our hope that we are of a size that we can make a small supplemental wage from it and have a place for our grandkids to work on.
Connie M. May
Secretary / Kuna / Air Force
I am retired Air Force with 26 years of service (1987-2015). My jobs were Public Health, Information Management, and Personnel/Force Support. I served in fighter, rescue, maintenance, joint and HQ USAF staff units. I have a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degrees in plant science and nutrition. I have worked for the University of Idaho Extension (Ada County) since 2018 starting out first as an Intern and then as the Program Coordinator for Harvest Heroes. I am also an Advanced Master Gardener and Advanced Master Food Safety Advisor.
Treasurer / Meridian / Army
Aaron brings more than 23 years of experience in the banking industry, and a passion for helping businesses grow and thrive.
Aaron has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Central Washington University. In his free time, you can find Aaron and his wife working in their garden and riding motorcycles.
Communications Director / Meridian / AF, Army, NG
I am an Air Force, Army, and Army National Guard veteran. I worked as an intelligence operations analyst specializing in counterterrorism and force protection. I’m a tenth-generation veteran.
I come from a long line of farmers. I also have degrees in nursing and technical communications with minors in geology and geography.
I am a founding member of the Michigan FVC. I am the owner of Heroes Harvest Farm and Field to Field Consulting. I have served as a VFW commander, VFW district junior vice commander, and DAV commander, and am a life member of both. I am also a member of the Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association.
Heroes Harvest Farm specialized in meat, produce, and cottage food creation using natural methods. I worked with the Michigan Urban and Rural Development, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, agricultural employment, and assisting farmer veterans with disabilities get assistance from Agribility, medical care, vocational rehab, and other programs with the VA and local/state/federal resources.
I have experience in public speaking, grant writing, business plans, marketing, and business advancement.
Digital Director / Kuna / Navy
Ron, and his wife Lisa, have had the blessing of being successful business owners, entrepreneurs, and helping others through their non-profit organizations for decades in the Treasure Valley. They have been married 32 years and have two amazing children. They sold their dream home in 2013 and started two other businesses: Back Forty Farms and NeuroBalanced. Ron Kern served in the U.S. Navy as a Sonar Technician and was honorably discharged in 1990.
Back Forty Farms is a 42-acre farm and ranch in Nampa, Idaho, which includes 300+ animals and even 2 kangaroos.
NeuroBalanced helps people heal from trauma using horses, neurofeedback, and other holistic modalities.
Ron’s hobbies include the American Revolution; has a podcast (PatriotPowerPodcast.com), serves as the President of the Idaho Sons of the American Revolution, and devours any book, podcast, or video on the subject. He also is a speaker, coach and helps companies with their social media and web development.
Board Member / Bonners Ferry
Board Member / Hayden / Army
I am a retired Army Veteran who served from 1982 to 2018. I started as a Musician with the 4th ID Band in Fort Carson, Colorado assigned as a Baritone player. Toward the end of my initial enlistment it was a hard decision not to reenlist on Active Duty as my musicianship was improving and I was assigned my first real leadership position. We lost our second daughter to SIDS so we decided to move back to North Idaho to be near family.
I did not want to leave the Army totally so I reenlisted into the USAR in the closest unit to my home. I became a Combat Engineer in Hayden, ID, which was fun for the first couple of years but ultimately not a good fit for me. I transferred to the Drill Sergeant in Spokane, WA, which was a much better fit yet I missed Active Duty. USAR service was from 1985 to 1997 during which I worked full time at my previous job in Sunshine Mine, then Kootenai County Sheriff’s Dept.
When the opportunity came for a Recruiting assignment, I jumped at it. AGR was great and I loved the competition in recruiting. My assignments were in Albuquerque, NM, Spokane, WA and Coeur d’Alene, ID. After almost 12 years of recruiting, I transferred to Career Counseling which enabled me to really shine while helping out Soldiers. I was assigned in Missoula, MT and finished off my last 3 years in Yakima, WA. From 2013 to 2015 I served as the Area Leader of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Eastern Washington, leading a team of 16 Career Counselors in that area. This was definitely the best job in the Army! My Civilian Education includes an AAS in Music Business, a BSBA in Business Administration and an additional certificate in Auto Body and Paint upon retirement to learn some skills for my hot rods.
I returned to the family Tree Farm with my beautiful wife, my three children have been grown and gone for some time. The farm consists of 640 acres in Hayden which has now been in the family for 100 years and is the first Tree Farm listed in the Centennial Farms listing. I started with a couple Belted Galloway Cows and bought a bull and a couple more mixed cows. We had 4 calves last year and bought 8 more heifers. We have had 4 babies this year so far and are trying out some goats and chickens as well.
One other tool I bought as soon as I left the Army was a Woodmizer Saw mill. I am learning how to run it and producing some rough cut boards to build more cattle shelters and feeders and the trim on our house as well. All of the fences were broken down and in the wrong places so that is an ongoing project that could last several years
I joined the Farmer Veteran Coalition in 2011 while assigned in Missoula, MT and worked with several small farmers in the local area while they established their local chapter. I was finally able to attend the virtual annual training this year and am looking forward to more training opportunities.
Because my forte in the Army was helping Soldiers find opportunities and my body being a little worn out after 36 years of military, I would like to use my land, skills and passion to work with younger, stronger Veterans and give them a place to start their own ventures. I look forward to working with the rest of the Idaho Chapter and hopefully find some more in the North Idaho area to work with.