4 Vets & A Baby
On this Veterans Day, we want to share with you the inspiration that has come to be known as the American Seed & Oil Company.
Ed Bollen, the CEO that came on board to implement the American Seed & Oil Company strategy, is a military veteran. Ed served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Those of you old enough to remember will appreciate the magnitude of Ed’s service when I tell you he served in Lebanon at the time of the Marine Barracks Bombing in Beirut. After his service in the Marines, Ed continued in the employ of the U.S. Government working with various military and law enforcement entities, the intelligence community and the Foreign Service amassing a career that spanned 30 years.
With less than 1% of the United States population serving in the military, veterans often turn to each other for friendship and professional connections. Ed found himself at one point last year in discussion with a fellow vet he had known since the first Persian Gulf War. The topic was the inadequacy of treatment available to veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Ed’s veteran friend at the time was researching the possible use of Medical Marijuana to treat a severe seizure disorder his daughter suffered. His daughter suffers from a rare neurological disorder that causes non-stop, back-to-back seizures. Without medication, the seizures result in what appears to be a vegetative state. The medication that mitigates the seizures has a variety of undesirable side effects. As an alternative to current anti-seizure medications and their side effects, the use of medical marijuana has recently brought relief to children suffering from similar seizure disorders. Ed’s friend noted that the research he came across included the use of Medical Marijuana to treat PTSD as well.
The two veterans decided to find a way to build a sustainable resource for veterans with PTSD and children with seizure disorders. The two recruited yet two more veterans and the four set out to inspire what has come to be know today as the American Seed & Oil Company.
Today, the American Seed & Oil Company is growing hemp in Vermont and medical marijuana in Maine. A recent NPR report named American Seed & Oil Company as the largest grower of hemp within the State of Vermont. So far, the efforts to build the Company have been funded by the vets themselves and supported by the goodwill of others that have come to believe in the American Seed & Oil Company vision.
The Company has recently garnered the interest of would be investors. The four vets are working to qualify and structure a strategic investment that could catapult the Company forward toward achieving its goal of ‘sustainability’ through generating perpetual profits from its ongoing operations.
While Ed’s work has shown exceptional results for American Seed & Oil to date, the skills he developed over his thirty-year career in government service are, from time to time, in high demand elsewhere. The timing of that demand is not always the most convenient. In the midst of American Seed and Oil Company’s recent success, a demand for Ed’s skills, thirty years in the making, has arisen. Accordingly, Ed is stepping down, at least for the time being, and one of the other four vets is stepping up. In Ed’s absence, Steven Rash is taking the helm. Ed will not be entirely out of touch though he won’t be available fulltime. We all will be looking forward to Ed’s safe return to hands on participation in the future.
2015 is looking to be an exciting year for the American Seed & Oil Company. One thousand acres of hemp are planned in Vermont and a state of the art medical marijuana grow facility in Maine is underway. High on the priority list of the four vets that co-inspired the Company, is the purchase of a targeted 200 acres in Vermont and the founding thereon of a long-term treatment facility for veterans with PTSD to not only receive the counseling and therapy that is otherwise in such short supply, but to include in that treatment, training in sustainable farming.
Join us today in thanking Ed and Steve and their comrades in arms for their service and lets wish them well in achieving their vision for the American Seed & Oil Company.