Kubota Tractor Corporation announced the latest recipient of a donated tractor in its “Geared To Give” program is Michigan resident Jason Scramlin, owner of Split Rail Farm in Hickory Corners. During a special ceremony Thursday at his farm, Scramlin was presented with the keys to a Kubota L-Series compact tractor in recognition of his years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps and for his dedication to farming. The donation by Kubota–the fifth donated tractor in the “Geared to Give” program–is in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), in an effort to provide financial support and donated Kubota equipment to U.S. military veterans pursuing a future in farming.
Scramlin and his wife, Jordan, own and manage a flock of 30 commercial ewes. They breed and lamb their ewes annually, in addition to producing their own hay. They currently sell their lamb products for meat and wool, and have their sights set on expanding the operation as demand continues to grow. Scramlin is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and third generation Michigan farmer. Jordan Scramlin also grew up on a farm, and the two met while attending Michigan State University (MSU) in pursuit of Animal Science degrees.
Earlier this month, Farmer Veteran Coalition hosted two British Invictus Games athletes for a farm tour as one of many stops during their visit to San Francisco to share experiences with other injured service members and learn more about programs and services that actively recruit veterans into meaningful careers.
Nathan Cumberland, a 10-year British Army veteran, and Louisa Walker, a 16-year veteran of the British Royal Corps of Signals, made the trip to San Francisco which was made possible by the Invictus Games Foundation and the British Benevolent Society.
The Invictus Games, which were created by Britain’s Prince Harry in 2014, are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and their associated veterans take part in various sporting events.
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund announced a record $320,000 in new awards this week. The awards, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 went to 140 veterans who have already launched, but are still developing, their farm businesses. The grants are paid to third-party vendors on behalf of the veterans for things such as livestock, bee supplies, well-drilling and farm equipment.
This year’s grants put the total amount of purchases made on behalf of the five-year program to well above $1,000,000. Nine experienced farmers and agriculturists selected the grantees from a record 200 applicants.
“We received an influx of highly qualified applicants to the 2016 program,” said Rachel Petitt, Farmer Veteran Fellowship Manager. “Our Advisory Council had the difficult task of granting awards. Each application tells a story of bravery, inspiration and discovery as our members transition from the military to farming.”
Recently, FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman joined Lt. Col. Denny Gillem, U.S. Army (Ret.), on his nationally syndicated radio program Frontlines of Freedom to spread the word about Farmer Veteran Coalition. Michael’s interview begins at the 23-minute mark. Listen to the full interview to hear more details about the free, enhanced membership FVC will be launching this summer.
Listen here or visit the Frontlines of Freedom website:
DAVIS, California – Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a national nonprofit serving military veterans in agriculture, has announced that its Michigan chapter will host the third annual Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference this fall. The conference will be held November 30 to December 2 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
FVC-Michigan will work with MSU’s Vets to Ag Program to host the conference, which will bring more than 500 farmer veterans and supporters from around the country to the university. The conference will feature workshops on agricultural topics, business planning and personal wellness. Evenings will feature distinguished speakers from the military, government agencies and leaders in the agricultural industry.
When Farmer Veteran Coalition assumed stewardship of the Homegrown By Heroes label from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in 2013, FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman had one goal: expand the label to a nationally recognized brand that differentiates farmer veteran products in competitive markets.
Today, thanks to generous support from Farm Credit, the Homegrown By Heroes label has expanded to more than 500 members representing 46 states plus Puerto Rico. Of those 46 states, Homegrown By Heroes has officially partnered with 15 state departments of agriculture to promote the label in conjunction with their own “Buy Local” labels.
Taking care of our own is one of the most important tenets of military culture. Regardless of branch of service, the armed forces is a proud band of brothers and sisters where you can always count on someone ‘watching your six.’
After transitioning back into the civilian world, many veterans immediately notice an absence of camaraderie and sense of community that typifies the military lifestyle. The civilian workforce just doesn’t value these ideals in the same way.
Army veterans Greggory DeBoer and Chad Tackett recently proved this mentality is alive and well among the Farmer Veteran Coalition membership.
To honor farmer veterans and their service to our country, Successful Farming magazine and Grasshopper mowers have teamed up for a new contest called From Fighter to Farmer. The contest invites farmer veterans—or their friends and family—to share their story for a chance to be one of three farmer veterans who will receive a $5,000 cash prize plus a three-day, all-inclusive trip for two people to Nashville, Tennessee.
These three farmer veterans will also be highlighted in a feature article in Successful Farming magazine next November and on Agriculture.com. Starting in October, you’ll be able to vote online for one of the veterans. The farmer veteran with the most votes will receive $10,000 to spend at Grasshopper mowers, in addition to the $5,000 cash prize and trip to Nashville.
With Spring upon us and planting season right around the corner, Farmer Veteran Coalition is pleased to announce a new member benefit courtesy of Dadant & Sons, Inc., the largest manufacturer of beekeeping supplies in the United States.
The new benefit provides Farmer Veteran Coalition members with a 10% discount on in-store purchases but does not include medicines, feed or bulk containers.
To use the benefit at one of Dadant’s 11 nationwide locations, inform the representative that you are an FVC member interested in using the 10% discount. The representative will then need to verify your membership with FVC, which may include making a phone call to their main office, so be sure to bring your state-issued identification card and military or Veterans Affairs identification card, if possible.
With the goal of equipping women veterans with business and farming tools, Farmer Veteran Coalition hosted its third Empowering Women Veterans: Business, Agriculture and Well-Being Conference March 4-5, 2016, for more than 80 people at the prestigious Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, New York.
The free conference was open to all active duty and veteran women, as well as women who farm with veterans. It featured daily on-site workshops in sheep production, year-round vegetable production, and farm-to-restaurant sales as well as educational presentations given by women veterans and other experts.