All photographs provided by Veterans in our Operation Hire A Vet Program

At Ranchin’ Vets, we are committed to our veterans overall well-being.


Our Mission

The mission of Ranchin’ Vets is to assist in the reintegration of veterans from military to civilian life through a variety of programs offered within the ranching and agricultural industry.

Our Story

Inspired by family that served in the military, Corey and Kevin Downs co-founded Ranchin’ Vets to be a resource for veterans transitioning out of the military. Kevin witnessed the challenges that our veterans are faced with upon returning from combat when his brother came home from multiple deployments to Iraq post 9/11. Simultaneously, Kevin worked as a seasonal ranch hand at a cattle operation in Northern California where he experienced the peace and tranquility that came at the end of a hard day’s work. It was then that the concept of Ranchin’ Vets was created.

Ranchin’ Vets was born on the idea that managing livestock is one of America’s oldest traditions, one which embodies the spirit, pride, and perseverance of the American people. The job of an American cowboy is not as glamorous or romantic as our society depicts, yet there is something sacred about this lifestyle. Ranching requires sacrifice, love, faith, and an uncompromising work ethic. Nobody better understands what has been sacrificed for this great land than a veteran, and nobody is better suited to care for her. 

“I spent my summer breaks from college working on a ranch. At the end of everyday when the sun was going down and the fog was rolling in I would drive my four-wheeler to the top of the hill, turn off the engine and just listen. All I could hear was the sound of the cows ripping the grass from the earth. It was incredibly peaceful. We want to share an experience like that with our veterans”
— Kevin Downs, Co-Founder

our program

Our Operation Hire A Vet Program was designed to serve our post 9/11 veterans who are interested in exploring opportunities within the agricultural industry. A veteran’s experience begins with their registration in our program. Our goal is to assist veterans through the process of seeking employment within the agricultural industry through our online Veteran Community, which is an exclusive tool available to veterans who successfully complete our registration requirements.

Once a veteran is hired by an agricultural industry employer, they become eligible to receive a stipend to assist with housing, clothing and transportation expenses associated with their new job in agriculture. This stipend is issued bi-weekly for up to six months, and is paid from Ranchin’ Vets directly to the veteran. Stipends are made possible through donations from generous supporters.

We encourage interested veterans to register for our Operation Hire A Vet Program!

It doesn’t event feel like work, and the flexible schedule allows me to work around my classes while I work to pursue my degree in engineering.
— Justin H., USMC (R)

Measures of Success

We are committed to ensuring at least four of these seven measures are met with each case.

  • The veteran obtains agricultural work within 90 days of successfully registering with our Operation Hire A Vet Program.

  • The veteran in our Operation Hire A Vet Program met the responsibilities of their agricultural position.

  • The veteran benefitted physically and/or emotionally from their participation in our Operation Hire A Vet Program.

  • The veteran developed/explored a career interest or opportunity through their participation in our Operation Hire A Vet Program.

  • The flexibility of the veteran’s position in the agricultural industry provided an opportunity to enroll in a trade school, community college or university, furthering their options as they reintegrate into civilian life.

  • The veteran completed six months with their agricultural employer or filled the full term of their employment agreement.

  • The veteran sought guidance and support from members and veterans serving on our board of directors.