- Donation to Farmer Veteran Coalition’s Fellowship Fund supports 60 farmer veterans as they build their farming businesses
- Retailer invites all service members to enjoy 15% discount on July 4
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, and the Tractor Supply Company Foundation have donated $100,000 to Farmer Veteran Coalition’s (FVC) Fellowship Fund. The Fund is a grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching, either through grants of equipment or awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to purchase items that will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm businesses. Tractor Supply’s contribution will benefit 60 farmer veterans.
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Previous Tractor Supply and FVC awardee Steven Easom (Photo: Business Wire)
In honor of July 4 and in gratitude for their service, Tractor Supply is also providing all veterans, active military and their dependents with a 15% discount on Tuesday, July 4 in stores nationwide.
“Our longstanding support for veterans is rooted in our core values of gratitude, integrity and community,” said Mary Winn Pilkington, president of the Tractor Supply Company Foundation. “Agriculture offers a sense of purpose and opportunity ideally suited for veterans beginning new careers. Through our donation to the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, Tractor Supply is honored to support these new farmers while connecting them with the supplies, equipment and insight that are critical to their success.”
Fellowship winners were selected by a team of seasoned agriculture industry professionals. Applications were evaluated based on farm training, experience and/or transferable skills, level of personal investment in their farm business and ability to show how an award will help grow their farm business. Applicants were also asked to share their vision for how their business would support their communities.
“The Farmer Veteran Coalition is grateful for our long-time partnerships with Tractor Supply,” said Jeanette Lombardo, FVC executive director. “Their generosity and continued support of the Fellowship Fund Program has helped FVC grow this program year after year and has made a huge impact on beginning Veteran farmers and ranchers throughout the country. Our members feel their commitment toward our mission and truly appreciate their efforts on our behalf.”
Tractor Supply was one of seven major donors that provided awards to a total of 133 farmer veterans. Fifty winners were awarded $1,000 Tractor Supply gift cards while an additional $50,000 grant from the Tractor Supply Company Foundation will benefit farmer veterans in the form of grants and through FVC programming.
For the last five years, Tractor Supply has partnered with FVC to assist farmer veterans from all branches of service as part of its ongoing commitment to veteran causes. In total, the Company has donated more than $450,000 in gift cards and funding to FVC, assisting more than 300 farmer veterans.
This year’s recipients include:
- Colin Dunlap, the Army officer behind Silver Bell Ranch, a first-generation beef ranch in Normangee, Texas. Silver Bell markets beef direct-to-consumer and seeks to become the go-to supplier for sustainably raised, great tasting beef in the local market. Colin also wants the ranch to provide a place for fellow veterans to learn about agriculture. His long-term goals are to implement a three-pasture multi-species rotational grazing system, add artificial insemination to business service offerings and engage with the community to improve agricultural education.
- Flint Raben of Raben Ranch in Twin Bridges, Montana, who produces an unusual hybrid of traditional hay and stocker cattle, and organic produce and field-cut lavender plants. Flint, a Navy veteran, realized the farming/ranching and preserving skills he learned as a child are a dying art, so he hopes to pass those skills on to his own children by making Raben Ranch a success. With his award, Flint will rehab 7,500 feet of pasture fencing, build a High-Tunnel in the market garden, upgrade the drip irrigation system and overhaul his small tractor.
- Tona Trice, an Army veteran who owns Hops Meadow Farm in Romney, West Virginia, the first Black-owned hops farm east of the Mississippi. In addition to 313 forest-farmed hops plants, Hops Meadow has four cattle, three llamas, three chickens and two rabbits. Tona’s goals include building a stable base of breweries producing seasonal beers from her farm’s hops, building a sustainable beef and pork business to complement brewery-focused agritourism and reducing farm expenses.
- Tim Zamora of Zamora Farms in San Lorenzo, New Mexico. After six deployments, Tim retired from the Army in 2021 and fully committed himself to his family’s farm. They currently have 490 fruit trees, nine heads of cattle and two horses on 21 acres and hope to develop a sustainable, veteran-friendly agriculture business that utilizes all available resources to provide fruit products, wood chips and cattle locally, regionally and nationally.
In addition to the FVC grant program and Fourth of July discount, Tractor Supply supports military and veterans organizations year-round through programs and initiatives with Dogs on Deployment, paws4people, Operation Stand Down Tennessee and Folds of Honor, alongside its annual Veterans Day discount.
To learn more about Tractor Supply’s FVC partnership, visit TractorSupply.com/Military.
About Tractor Supply Company
For 85 years, Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO) has been passionate about serving the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers, homeowners, gardeners, pet enthusiasts and all those who enjoy living Life Out Here. Tractor Supply is the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the U.S., ranking 291 on the 2023 Fortune 500. The company’s more than 52,000 Team Members are known for delivering legendary service and helping customers pursue their passions, whether that means being closer to the land, taking care of animals or living a hands-on, DIY lifestyle. In store and online, Tractor Supply provides what customers need – anytime, anywhere, any way they choose at the low prices they deserve.
As of April 1, 2023, the Company operated 2,164 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states, including 81 stores acquired from Orscheln Farm and Home in 2022 that will be rebranded to Tractor Supply by the end of 2023. For more information on Tractor Supply, visit www.tractorsupply.com.
Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense by Tractor Supply, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer providing products and services for pet owners. As of April 1, 2023, the Company operated 189 Petsense by Tractor Supply stores in 23 states. For more information on Petsense by Tractor Supply, visit www.Petsense.com.
About Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC)
Farmer Veteran Coalition is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization assisting veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces embarking on careers in agriculture. With the mission of mobilizing veterans to feed America, it provides education, resources, and small grants, and fosters the collaboration of the farming and military communities to cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders. FVC simultaneously offers veterans a new purpose on America’s farms. Established in 2008, its in-house programs include the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund small grant program, the nationally recognized Homegrown by Heroes label for veteran-grown products, and national and regional conferences. FVC has been successful in getting millions of dollars of USDA funds appropriated for farmer veteran and the groups that support them. They have built an extended community of organizations that look to them for leadership and guidance as the pioneer in this military-to-agriculture movement. Learn more at www.farmvetco.org or follow on Facebook or Instagram at @FarmerVeteranCoalition and Twitter at @FarmVetCo.
Mary Winn Pilkington (615) 440-4212
Tricia Whittemore (615) 440-4410