A Veteran Farmer Comes Home
-- Customer Story
Back on 9/11, confusion, and then ire, set in for Cody Waters as details emerged of the attack on U.S. soil. It just happened to be his first day of basic training. “It made me angry,” he says. “It made me feel more justified in being there. I wasn’t just serving my country. There was a need to serve.”
Besides serving in the military, Waters also farms—just like his grandfather served and farmed two generations ago. Waters even farms some of the same family land in Illinois, along with land near his Missouri home. He recently added 23 head of cows and another 35 acres to his Missouri operation.
Friends and family help, including his young sons who do some of the daily feeding and watering. He balances all that with weekend training as the company commander of the Forward Support Company of the 1140th Engineer Battalion of Missouri Army National Guard.
He’s been deployed overseas two times in his 15-year career with the Army National Guard, and has helped Afghan farmers improve their farming operations when he served as part of an Agribusiness Development Team. While in that war-torn country, Waters witnessed an ingenuity similar to farmers back home.
Such service and experience has made Waters appreciate his family and farm all the more. He teaches his sons to care for the animals, mow the yard and pitch in with other chores. “Kids learn responsibilities from the farm,” he says. “They learn that sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do in life.”
An evening walk with the boys back to the house is one of the best times of the day for Waters. It reminds him of his own childhood on the farm. He has fought to preserve the freedom to enjoy a rural lifestyle and it is never far from his mind or heart.
“Farming is who I am,” he says.
While overseas, Waters worked with donated Massey Ferguson tractors much like those on his farm—there, he uses several pieces of AGCO equipment, including MF235, MF275 and MF285 tractors. For more on Waters’ operation and resources for veterans who want to farm, visit http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/veteran-farmers-coming-home/.