Kubota Awards Equipment to Five New Farmer Veteran Coalition Members

U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran Robert Bartleson (left) with TV personality Willie Robertson.

In honor of those who served, Kubota Tractor Corporation recently announced five new farmer veteran recipients of new Kubota equipment through its 2022 “Geared to Give” program in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC). Every year, one veteran from each of Kubota’s five operating divisions is selected to receive new Kubota equipment through the “Geared to Give” program, with awarded equipment ranging in horsepower across agriculture tractors, utility and compact tractors and utility vehicles. In addition to receiving the keys to their new equipment, each recipient is being honored with a special ceremony to recognize their military service and their continued service to their communities through farming, including a recent ceremony for U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran Robert Bartleson who was handed the keys to his new MX Series utility tractor with TV personality and outdoorsman Willie Robertson (see the photo above) at the Duck Commander Warehouse in West Monroe, La.

“At Kubota, we believe in giving back to those who served and the Geared to Give program is about providing critical support to veterans as they return home from serving our country to begin careers in farming,” said Alex Woods, Kubota senior vice president of sales operations, supply chain and parts and a veteran of the Army National Guard. “Veterans play an important role in advancing American agriculture and strengthening our rural communities, and we are honored to help empower these men and women with the equipment they need to achieve their dreams.”

Since the “Geared to Give” program was established in 2015, Kubota has provided $800,000 to the Farmer Veteran Coalition in the form of organizational support, grants to veterans and 36 pieces of donated Kubota equipment to help them take their farming operations to the next level.

Additionally, Kubota offers exclusive discounts to members of the Farmer Veteran Coalition with instant customer rebates for purchasing select Kubota equipment at all 1,100 authorized-Kubota dealerships nationwide.

The 2022 “Geared to Give” program received more than 400 applications through FVC’s Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, and in the end, one recipient was selected by and for each of Kubota’s five operating divisions across the U.S. This year’s recipients are:

Southeast Division: Robert Bartleson served more than 26 years in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force which included more than nine deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Africa, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran Robert Bartleson (center)

Robert’s multiple deployments with the nation’s most elite special forces earned him multiple Bronze Star Medals along with the Bronze Star Medal with a “V” device for valor. Robert and his wife, Kristie, own and operate BucknHam Farms, a 21-acre non-GMO organic regenerative farm in Crestview, Fla., where they raise laying hens, goats and pigs. Kubota is awarding Robert an MX Series utility tractor with loader and a Land Pride box blade and forks, which he has already put to use unloading 15,000 lbs of feed, moving over 20 tons of dirt along with 40 tons of crushed limestone for animal heavy-use areas. Robert is supported by his local Kubota dealer, Coastal Machinery of Crestview Inc., and he was honored in a special ceremony with TV personality and outdoorsman Willie Robertson at the Duck Commander Warehouse.

Western Division: Brian Gorman served more than nine years in the U.S. Army which included a deployment to Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

U.S. Army veteran Brian Gorman (left)

Brian and his wife, Karla, own and operate Blarney Heights Farm, a 200-acre grass-fed, grass-finished Dexter cattle operation in Trego, Mont. Kubota is awarding Brian a one-year lease on an M7 Series ag tractor with loader which he will use to feed his cattle and horses, move equipment and supplies, and conduct ranch improvements. Brian, who is supported by Kubota dealer Johnson Distributing in Great Falls, Mont., was honored in a special ceremony during Kubota’s annual dealer meeting in October in Grapevine, Texas.

U.S. Army veteran Joy Hughes (center)

Central Division: Joy Hughes served four years in the U.S. Army as a logistics specialist and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Joy and her husband, J.D., own and operate Beggs Pasture Raised Chickens and Eggs, a 40-acre pastured poultry operation in Beggs, Okla. Kubota is awarding Joy an L02 Series compact tractor with loader and a Land Pride brush hog and grapple, which she has put to use to transport feed, clear thick brush on her property, and move her mobile poultry coop onto fresh pasture each day. Joy is supported by her local Kubota dealer, Stewart Martin Equipment in Okmulgee, Okla., and is being honored in a special ceremony on Tuesday at the Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference in Oklahoma City.

Lieutenant Colonel John Lord (right)

Midwest Division: Lieutenant Colonel John Lord has been serving in the U.S. Army since 1999 and is currently the Director of Simulation Education at the Army University in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. During his time in service, John deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. John owns and operates Eco-Cattle LLC, an 80-acre grass-fed and finished beef operation, in Oskaloosa, Kan.

Kubota is awarding John an M60 Series utility tractor with loader that he will put to use on his ranch to mow and clean pastures and forested areas, as well as move and unroll hay bales for winter cattle feeding. John is supported by his local Kubota dealer, McConnell Machinery Co. in Lawrence, Kan., and he will be honored later this month in a special ceremony at the K River Campground in Moyers, Okla., with Kubota partner and YouTube creator Adam Sandoval.

Northern Division: Larry Daugherty served a combined 18 years in the Pennsylvania and West Virginia Army National Guard, which included a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, before being medically retired due to injuries sustained in Iraq.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia Army National Guard veteran Larry Daugherty (left)

Larry and his wife, Anita, own and operate Heritage Farms, a 40-acre farm where he specializes in raising heritage breeds of cattle and hogs, in McClellandtown, Pa. Kubota is awarding Larry an RTV-XG850 Sidekick utility vehicle that allows him to overcome his mobility issues to navigate his property and tackle daily chores on the farm. Larry is supported by his local Kubota dealer, Murphy Family Inc., in Smock, Pa., and he will be honored later this month in a special ceremony at the property of Kubota partner and YouTube creator Outdoors with the Morgans.

“The Geared to Give program is one of my favorite times of the year when we get to call each of these veterans on the phone and hear their reaction when they find out they’re being awarded new Kubota equipment,” said Jeanette Lombardo, executive director of FVC. “These veterans have given so much for our country and the Geared to Give program truly impacts their lives by giving them much needed equipment and a well-deserved boost to their farming operations.” 

Each year, farmer veterans can apply to the FVC Fellowship Fund to be considered for donated Kubota equipment through the “Geared to Give” program. For more information on FVC’s 2023 application process, visit Farmvetco.org. For more information on the “Geared to Give” program, visit Kubota Cares.

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