We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Richard, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Plants make me HAPPY!!!

Plants are some of my very first memories, my mother’s spider plant to be exact. I think it stuck out because although I was only 3 and the plant hung from above, all the little spiderettes still somehow made their way down to my level. Some kids had imaginary friends; I had plants.

Growing up I ran feral through the forests near our home in Alaska. I imagined I was something of a cross between a Mountain Man and Mowgli! And I just remember being absolutely in love with all the nature around me. I would dig carrots and pick strawberries from neighbors’ gardens and was absolutely convinced that bonsai trees were how one becomes a true “Karate Master”. (RIP Mr. Miyagi)

Years later, as a veteran, I took that passion and the peace and serenity I got from my own gardens and felt compelled to share it. I helped form Veterans to Farmers, a 501-c3 that teaches veterans new skills and gives them a familiar community to grow and learn with.

As a veteran, I often think of planting a seed as a declaration of hope, and we can always use some extra hope.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I co-founded the non-profit Veterans to Farmers, with the specific mission of assisting my fellow veteran community gain new skills and discover a place to grow and heal together. At the same time, we also recognize the opportunity for veterans to step in and play an active role in our nation’s food security.

Veterans can often face a multitude of challenges when returning from service. The veteran population is a unique population, tied together by values, customs, traditions, ethos, teamwork, and more.

Many veterans who find their purpose after service ends up being valuable members of our society. They are statistically more likely to seek out an entrepreneurial path, volunteer time, and be involved in local government… We want healthy veterans.

I come from a generational military family, even meeting my wife of 20 years who was serving alongside me. I hold a deep passion for this community and want to provide a place for those veterans who are struggling. Maybe offer an opportunity for them to serve again, hands in the dirt, full of purpose.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live out on a homestead, and we would start the day by watching the sunrise come up over the eastern horizon well enjoying a few cups of tea. After chores, we would jump in the Wrangler with the doors off and catch some breakfast in Old Town. Silver Grill Cafe never disappoints, and their endless hash browns are no joke.

After breakfast, we would spend the day getting lost in the breathtaking Colorado mountains. Look for some good hiking opportunities and a few adventures.

On the way down the mountain, we would grab lunch and a pint at the locally loved Mishawaka. It is wonderful to enjoy good company with such scenery alongside the Cache La Poudre River. And if you can catch a show, it is a real treat.

And lastly, I would make sure my friend does not miss the chance to watch one of Colorado’s magical sunsets. And then it is a gathering around a firepit, with good music, good friends, and great local beer… 90 Shillings made down the road by Odell’s is one of my personal favorites.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Veterans to Farmers would not be possible without our amazing partners.

– Denver Botanic Gardens

– Altius Farms

– USDA

– CSU Extension Office

And shout out to the Colorado community for 8 years of support.

Website: www.veteranstofarmers.org

Instagram: @veteranstofarmers

Facebook: @veteranstofarmers

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.