Heroes to Hives program for veterans finds home at Ford farm in Ypsilanti

Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 13:47:06-04

(WXYZ) — Heroes to Hives is a program that seeks to address the wellness of veterans through beekeeping.

It is a nine-month program offered through Michigan State University Extension. According to founder Adam Ingrao, the program helps provide comradery, mindfulness and structure that many veterans need to successfully acclimate back into civilian life.

The Ford corporate-wide beekeeping program is a sustainability initiative that supports honeybee populations, the local ecosystem, gardening and farming communities. It is headed by Cormac Wright, Ford global energy systems project manager. Wright set out to find space at Ford for the Heroes to Hives program, leading him to a Ford farm in Ypsilanti.

"Heroes to Hives is an amazing program," Wright said in a release. "It's a privilege for all of us at Ford to be able to provide something to help our veterans."

Ford Cherry Hill Farm is an 800-acre working farm that was once used as a testing site for the Ford tractor division. It is now the newest location for Heroes to Hives. Ford is dedicating five acres of Cherry Hill Farm to the program. In addition to the hives, there will be pollinator-friendly plants to support the honeybees and other pollinators.

“Most veterans in the state reside in Southeast Michigan,” said Ingrao in a release. “Ford has enabled us to provide a more accessible location for many of our Heroes to Hives participants.”