Bee Wise Farms   |   Michigan   |   Army

Dr. Adam Ingrao joined the Army in 2003, following in the footsteps of three generations of his family to serve before him, from the Vietnam era back to WWI. After one year of service, Adam suffered a career-ending injury, leaving him a service connected disabled vet. In a position to reevaluate his career goals, Adam turned to agriculture.

He began his studies at the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), earning a degree in Agriculture and Environmental Plant Sciences with a focus on entomology. At Cal Poly, Adam took his first bee-keeping class. He assisted his professor in maintaining a 20-hive bee yard, learned to rear queens, split hives, and remove wild swarms. Adam then relocated to Michigan, where he pursued his PhD in entomology.

Dr. Ingrao is the Veteran’s Liaison for Michigan State University Extension and an Agricultural Entomologist specializing in biological pest control and apiculture.

A 4th-generation Army veteran and nationally recognized veteran’s advocate, Dr. Ingrao has led local, state, and national efforts to connect veterans with career and wellness opportunities within the agricultural sector.  He is the founder and instructor of the MSUE’s Heroes to Hives program, the largest beekeeping training program for veterans in the country.  He played a key role in the formation of the Michigan Chapter of FVC.

Dr. Ingrao and his wife, Lacey, own and operate Bee Wise Farms – a 40 acres diversified farm in Newberry, MI that produces honey, cut-flowers, lavender, vegetables, apples, and CBD hemp.

FVC awarded Adam a Fellowship through Prairie Grove Farms, allowing him to expand his hives and purchase necessary equipment for his business to succeed.

His academic and professional honors include the MSU Plant Science Fellowship, National Science Foundation Fellowship, and US Fruit and Vegetable Industry’s 40 Leaders in Agriculture under 40 award (40 Under 40).

Adam’s long-term goals are to offer free, hands-on, beekeeping workshops for veterans interested in agriculture. “This work is my life’s passion, and my way of continuing to serve my brothers and sisters who stood by me in uniform,” Adam states. Adam is pioneering the research and implementation of sustainable beekeeping in an effort to bolster our nation’s food security.