Enlisting in the Marine Corps took R.D. Offutt Farms team member Jeff Winter all over the world. From Bangladesh to Paraguay, Winter has touched thousands of lives through his military service.
Winter grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and joined the military in 1998, right out of high school. He began his training in South Carolina before transitioning to Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 in Cherry Point, North Carolina, for three years.
During this time, Winter completed many humanitarian missions throughout Latin America. In stints of one to three months, he traveled to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Nicaragua to build schools alongside local governments.
In 2001, Winter was stationed to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion in Okinawa, Japan. Like his work in Latin America, Winter also traveled throughout Asia, participating in construction projects in both South Korea and Bangladesh.
“The country that surprised me the most was South Korea,” he said. “Our unit worked with their military and it was very impressive, I learned so much.”
Winter was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2002 and moved to Brooten, Minn., where he has now made his permanent home with his wife and two sons. Winter also found a home for himself at the RDO Brooten farm, where he has worked since 2009.
He compares the sense of brotherhood he felt in the military to what he now feels working on the farm. “If anything happened, (my military brothers) had my back, and they know I have theirs,” he said. The similar camaraderie and sense of family he’s found in his career with RDO is something he cherishes, but that’s not the only lesson he’s learned in his decades of experience.
“I learned a lot of lessons from the military,” he said. “For example, when harvest gets long, I know no matter how hard it gets, the job will get done.”
Thank you to Jeff, all RDO Veterans, and Veterans everywhere for your service to our country and your commitment to our freedom!⠀