In partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition, Tractor Supply Company hosted and honored 50 military veteran farmers nationwide on Saturday, May 18, which was also Armed Forces Day. Tractor Supply presented a total of $50,000 in awards through FVC’s Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund — a grant program that helps veterans grow their agricultural businesses.
Each of the 50 veterans received a $1,000 gift card from Tractor Supply and FVC after submitting an essay describing their farm training and experience, personal investment in their farm business, clear need for assistance and vision and goals for their future. The winners, who were invited to their local Tractor Supply store to receive their award, are owners of agricultural businesses in categories such as beekeeping, sustainable gardening, animal care, medicinal crop cultivation and more.
“It is an honor to give back to men and women who have given so much to our country through their service and now to their communities with farming,” said Roc Hodges, who retired as a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force and currently leads the Tractor Supply Veterans Employee Resource Group. “These military veterans are developing impressive agricultural businesses across the country, and we are both humbled and excited to support each and every one of them through our partnership with FVC.”
In Athens, Tennessee, the local Tractor Supply store honored Marissa Buchanan, who served in the Army from 2009 to 2018 as a Combat Medic. When Buchanan left the military, she opened Buchanan’s Barnyard to raise critical breeds of poultry. As Buchanan’s Barnyard expands, she is welcoming rescued mini pigs for foster and adoption, as well as expanding into animal assisted therapy.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan, Tractor Supply store awarded the Fellowship Fund grant to Jason Scramlin. After serving as a U.S. Marine from 1997 to 2005, Scramlin found his passion for the rural lifestyle and purchased his own farm in 2013 to raise sheep. In just over five years, he has grown his farm from five ewes to 40 ewes and added two rams. He raises them on a rotational pasture management system, which is a sustainable, low-input system that promotes healthy animals and soil.
“The partnership with Tractor Supply Company is so important to our mission of supporting farmer veterans,” said Michael O’Gorman, founder and director of Farmer Veteran Coalition. “We are excited to watch these award winners develop their businesses and change their communities for years to come.”
Each of the 50 veterans demonstrates an ongoing commitment to serving our country in ways that both Tractor Supply and Farmer Veteran Coalition are proud to honor. Learn more about this partnership and the Fellowship Fund by visiting their website.