Farmer Veteran Coalition, in partnership with Kubota Tractor Corporation, announced the first awardee of the 2016 “Geared to Give” program Tuesday in a special ceremony at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.
Julie Hollars, a fifth-generation farmer and 20-year Navy veteran, received a donated Kubota L-Series compact tractor, becoming the first female awarded in the “Geared to Give” program’s short existence.
“Most girls want diamonds and nice cars,” said Hollars, who owns and operates Farbotnik Farm in Vallecito, Calif., where she produces a wide variety of fruit and nut trees. “All I want is a tractor!” According to Hollars, the new tractor will allow her to mechanize many processes her family has been doing by hand for more than 20 years.
Launched in March 2015 to provide financial support and donated Kubota equipment to U.S. Military veterans pursuing careers in farming, the “Geared to Give” program has now awarded four veterans with Kubota L-Series compact tractors.
“As a member of FVC’s fellowship program, we have watched Julie’s farm grow over the years and today we couldn’t be more proud of her efforts,” said Michael O’Gorman, executive director of Farmer Veteran Coalition. “Julie is exactly the type of farmer-veteran our organization helps to serve – she’s a fifth-generation farmer with a passion to grow her family-owned business into a thriving success and just needs a little help to do so. We are honored that Julie is our first female ‘Geared to Give’ recipient.”
In addition to the tractor, Hollars received an E60 tiller courtesy of Stockton, Calif.-based Big Valley Tractor and their supplier Gearmore. The L-Series tractor was also equipped with a Kubota-orange canopy from Firebird Products, a Kubota supplier for aftermarket accessories.
In order to be eligible for the “Geared to Give” program, FVC members must first apply to the Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund, which provides up to $5,000 to each veteran in the early stages of their farming endeavor. Since 2011, the Fellowship Fund has provided more than $800,000 to 150 fellows in more than 35 states.
For more information about the “Geared to Give” program, please visit www.kubotacares.com. For more information about joining Farmer Veteran Coalition and applying to the Fellowship Fund, please visit www.farmvetco.org/.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) to conduct agricultural credit training sessions in the Midwest for military veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers. Farmer Veteran Coalition has already conducted four such workshops in Iowa and Michigan. States under consideration to host the next workshops include Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
“USDA is excited to team up with the Farmer Veteran Coalition,” said Lanon Baccam, USDA Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Deputy Under Secretary, and Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison. “These workshops will provide individuals interested in farming as a career, including military veterans, with methods to improve business planning and financial skills, and improve understanding of the risk management tools that can help small farm operations.”
Other partners include Niman Ranch – a community network of more than 700 independent family farmers and ranchers – and the Farm Credit Council and the Farm Credit System, which provides loans, leases and financial services to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses across the United States. The workshops will also include assistance with credit applications and introductions to local or regional food markets.
For more information about Farmer Veteran Coalition’s efforts to train beginning and aspiring farmer veterans, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-756-1395.
DAVIS, California – September 2, 2015—Farmer Veteran Coalition has announced that the second tractor in the “Geared to Give” program, sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corporation (KTC), was awarded to Jason Kerr of DeWitt, Iowa.
KTC and Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) announced the award in a special ceremony at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. The “Geared to Give” program was launched in March of this year by Kubota and FVC. Through the program, Kubota will donate one Standard L-Series tractor per quarter to an FVC Fellowship recipient pursuing a career in agriculture. The award to Kerr is the second in the program.
Jason Kerr is a Farmer Veteran Coalition member who owns and operates Kerr’s Berry Farm, a “U-Pick” blueberry farm in DeWitt, Iowa. He is a US Army veteran with a desire to make a positive impact on all that he touches.
In response to the 9/11 attacks, Kerr enlisted in the Army, and was deployed to Iraq where he sustained serious injuries. After returning to the US, he still felt the calling to assist others, so he went to work helping veterans for the state of Iowa. Needing an even greater challenge, he went into blueberry farming, a niche crop in Iowa. Working the land to grow blueberries has been both an arduous and therapeutic experience. Through his indomitable spirit and assistance from Farmer Veteran Coalition and a Bob Woodruff Farming Fellowship, he has grown his farming operation to 1200 thriving blueberry plants.
“When I got the news, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.” said Kerr. “I’m really excited to work with Kubota and Kunau Implement, my local dealer, to get this equipment working out on the farm. I already have big plans for it!”
“We’re proud to help make a difference in the lives of farmer veterans in America,” said Todd Stucke, Kubota vice president of sales, marketing and product support. “Kubota’s partnership with FVC is a natural fit not only because of the organization’s emphasis on agriculture, but because of its national reach, which allows our 1,100 dealers across the country an opportunity to get involved with this cause.”
“Farmer Veteran Coalition was founded to assist veterans who are beginning or sustaining post-military careers in agriculture. ‘Geared to Give’ is an excellent avenue to facilitate such support to our veterans as they embark on their agricultural endeavors,” said Michael O’Gorman, founder and executive director of FVC. “It is both heartwarming and a great honor to share this day with Jason as he receives this much-needed Kubota tractor.”
Through the “Geared to Give” program, KTC provides financial support to FVC and one tractor per calendar quarter to a farmer veteran pursuing a career in agriculture. Farmer veterans like Kerr who are FVC Fellowship recipients will be considered for donated Kubota equipment through the program. Kubota has selected its Standard L-Series compact tractors, built here in the US, for this program, as their versatility and efficiency are ideal for meeting the varying needs of many small- and medium-sized farming operations.
The mission of Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) is mobilizing veterans to feed America. FVC works to develop a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and expand viable employment and career opportunities through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. Through mentorship, peer support and career counseling, FVC supports veterans returning to or beginning careers in the food and farming industry. For more information, visit www.farmvetco.org.
About Kubota Tractor Corporation
Kubota Tractor Corporation, Torrance, Calif., is the U.S. marketer and distributor of Kubota-engineered and manufactured machinery and equipment, including a complete line of tractors of up to 170 Gross hp, performance-matched implements, compact and utility-class construction equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, hay tools and spreaders, commercial turf products and utility vehicles. Kubota launched “Geared to Give” in March 2015 in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to provide financial support and donated Kubota equipment to U.S. military veterans pursuing a future in farming. For more information, visitwww.kubotacares.com or www.kubota.com.
More than 250 growers in more than 40 states are using the “Homegrown by Heroes” label. Calvin Riggleman, who grows vegetables and fruit in West Virginia, is the first to use the labels in his state. Riggleman sells his produce at farmers’ markets with the label, “It has a soldier – a silhouette saluting – and it just says ‘Homegrown by Heroes.’ People come to the farmers market and see the logo and you don’t even have to explain anything. They just see that and they know, like, ah, this is a veteran farmer.” Continue Reading ““Homegrown by Heroes” label program growing”»
The days at Talmar Gardens start early. At 6:00 a.m., crews troop to the horticultural therapy center in Baltimore County to water, stake and trellis by hand, growing bushels of vegetables and some 5,000 flowers a week for sale to restaurants, supermarkets, florists and others. It’s a regimen that founder Catherine Murphy, a former special education teacher, has seen supply physical and mental benefits to hundreds of people with disabilities and special needs, not to mention the center’s many volunteers, since she started Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland — Talmar — in 1998. Now she plans to expand the offerings, starting with a job training program for military veterans.
I’d like to think that Farm Credit’s Salute to Farmer Veterans has something in common with the salutes exchanged in their military careers: that our salute is a privileged gesture of respect and trust.
I understand that a salute is also a way to focus attention on what is going to happen next. After the salute occurs, there are likely to be some very specific instructions about what will be done next. You could say that a salute is the first step in communicating a plan for the future.
Chad Tackett left the Army in 2012 after 22 years and four deployments and has been pursuing farming ever since. His wife is also a veteran and their son is currently serving. Chad has purchased 200 acres of a ‘slightly run-down’ farm outside Augusta, Georgia. Joining Chad as he clears fields and builds fences is Charles “Chuck” Jones. Chuck left the Army in 2014 and though he doesn’t own land, he does own a tractor and some equipment and has been helping Chad prepare the farm for cattle.
In conjunction with National Ag Day, Kubota Tractor Corporation has announced the launch of “Geared to Give,” a new program in partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) that will provide financial support and donated Kubota equipment to U.S. military veterans pursuing a career in farming. Kubota and FVC jointly launched their partnership today at the California State Capitol in Sacramento during the Department of Food and Agriculture’s Ag Day festivities.