Looking at the explosion of color, texture, and sheer beauty bursting from the fields at Jordan Farms, one can’t help but wonder how Charley Jordan got here – to this place far away from Army life, where nothing follows strict rules and the only thing certain is the uncertainty of nature. Career Army with a family legacy to carry, Jordan enlisted in 1989 and served for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2017 as a Chief Warrant Officer Four with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. “I come from a long line of military service and was inspired to join the military so I could travel and get the college money for school,” he said. “I had no idea that I would stay in as long as I did.”
Even during those three decades of service, Jordan had his eye on the future, always cognizant of the fact that the day would come when he no longer put on the uniform. With that in mind, he prepared for his transition to civilian life as much as he could. In 2001, he purchased a large property in Middle Tennessee, began boarding horses, and got involved with junior high and high school rodeos. Seven years later, he founded Circle J Ranch, establishing himself in Texas Longhorn freezer beef sales.
Still, when retirement came, Jordan found himself underprepared and struggling with separation from military life. “As early as I started preparing to leave the service, unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared enough,” he admits. “The first few years after my retirement were hard and very difficult to get used to. I finally decided to reach out to the Cohen Military Family Treatment Clinic of Clarksville, and that made all the difference for me. I was able to finally really focus on making my farm business successful. I learned that it’s important to reach out for help when you need it – especially for veterans.”
In 2020, Jordan took another big leap, selling Circle J and starting something new yet again: floriculture. Rebranded as Jordan Farms, the name represents the dedicated man behind the operation and the hard work he has put into the many blooms populating his fields. But more than just growing flowers, he’s growing an experience. “I grow several different varieties of annual and perennial cut flowers which are currently being sold by the bouquet at the Clarksville Downtown Market,” Jordan explains. “My farm is also open to agritourism events such as pick-your-own bouquets, photography sessions, yoga, educational events, and camping events. “
For Jordan, the challenges of a business so rooted in the ground are outweighed by the satisfaction of creating something for himself. “Life in agriculture is challenging, but it is also very rewarding – both physically and mentally,” he notes. “I brought my agriculture operation to life through many lessons learned – both good and bad. I had to relearn social media as an advertising platform and learn how to market myself and my farm. I engage as much as possible with my fellow veteran businesses and attend as many local networking events as I can. I’m also excited about my recent membership with the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce, and I hope it leads to more opportunities for my flowers.
“Owning your own business takes personal purpose, motivation, and direction. You are the sole reason for its success or not and I personally enjoy that challenge,” he goes on. “I balance my farm business between being an adjunct assistant professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Horticulture Therapist student with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and an agriculture education student with Hopkinsville Community College. My farm provides me with the purpose, motivation, and direction to be a better person and to continue to serve my community by bringing smiles to their faces with my bouquets.”
For more information on Jordan Farms, visit jordanfarmstn.com.