Ford Teams Up With Heroes to Hives!


Adam Ingrao comes from a military family. He enlisted just like his father did before him and his grandfather. Ingrao’s military career ended abruptly though, and reacclimating into civilian life proved difficult. Interestingly, he found peace and solace in an interesting place: with honeybees.


It was in 2015 when Ingao started a therapeutic beekeeping program with only five other veterans. Today, that side project has grown into Heroes to Hives. Heroes to Hives is a nine-month program that addresses the financial and personal wellness of veterans, as well as professional training and community development all centered on beekeeping. 


The program helps provide the comradery, mindfulness, and structure all veterans need to successfully acclimate back into civilian life, but unfortunately it didn’t have a presence it needed in Southeast Michigan. So when Cormac Wright, Ford global energy systems project manager, learned about Heroes to Hives and its need for a location in Southeast Michigan, he knew there had to be an opportunity for Ford to help these heroes.


Wright is at the helm of the Ford corporate-wide beekeeping program. This sustainability initiative supports honeybee populations, the local ecosystem, gardening, and farming communities. Conveniently, Heroes to Hives aligns with these efforts. So when Wright set out to find space at Ford for the program, his efforts led him to a Ford farm in Ypsilanti.

The farm in Ypsilanti is Ford Cherry Hill Farm, and it’s an 800-acre working farm that produced corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay. It was originally used as a testing site for the Ford tractor division, but now it’s the newest location for Heroes to Hives. Ford has dedicated five acres of the farm to the program. Not only will the bees have hives, they will have access to a myriad of pollinator-friendly plants!

The bees are flourishing, and so are the heroes that take care of them!

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