Kubota’ latest recipient of a donated tractor in its “Geared To Give” program is farmer veteran Chad Tackett, owner of Tackett Family Farms in Lincolnton, Georgia. During a special ceremony, Tackett was presented with the keys to a new Kubota L-Series compact tractor in recognition of his years of service in the U.S. Army and for his dedication to farming. The donation was made by Kubota 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.
Tackett and his wife Shirlene, a U.S. Air Force veteran, manage roughly 200 acres of land including planted pines, hardwoods and pastures where they raise grass-fed Texas Longhorn cattle. Tackett grew up feeding cattle and raising hogs on family farms, and with his experience and new Kubota tractor, he plans to develop the farm and expand his cattle operation to sell meat locally by late next year. A father of four, Tackett’s son Zach serves in the U.S. Navy where he is stationed in King’s Bay, Georgia. Tackett served in the U.S. Army for 22 years where he was stationed across the U.S. and overseas before retiring in 2012.
When told by phone that he had been selected as this quarter’s “Geared to Give” recipient, Tackett was in complete disbelief, stating, “I am so glad to replace my broken-down 1970 tractor and I can’t wait see what my new Kubota can do on my farm and for the local farmer veteran community. I’ve never been so lucky and am incredibly grateful for this recognition.”
Kubota’s philanthropic mission is to “power and empower those who move the earth,” and in that spirit “Geared to Give” was born in partnership with FVC in early 2015. The program works to identify the needs and further the agriculture careers of those who have served their country and are now serving their communities through farming.
“This program empowers farmer veterans to achieve their dreams and make a true difference through their farming operations,” said Todd Stucke, Kubota senior vice president of sales, marketing and product support. “Kubota is proud to offer a token of our gratitude for those who have done so much for this country through their military service. We are extremely pleased to help Chad continue to make a difference in his community for many years to come.”
After retiring in 2012, Tackett learned all there is to know about grass-fed cattle with the hopes of starting his own operation. With his new Kubota tractor, Tackett will get his farm in the proper condition to raise more animals and plant vegetables to sell locally, in addition to selling grass-fed beef. He also offers his farm as a place for local veterans to work or relax, providing a therapeutic environment and allowing them to start their own farming projects.
Michael O’Gorman, executive director of FVC also attended the special ceremony. “Having known Chad for several years, I am so proud that we’ve awarded this quarter’s tractor donation to such a deserving candidate,” O’Gorman said. “We are pleased to be able to award this tractor to Chad today and we know that he will make great use of it on his farm while supporting his fellow veterans.”
“We have been proudly serving central Georgia for many years,” said Peyton McGill, manager of Palmer Equipment, Tackett’s authorized Kubota dealer located in Washington, Georgia. “We are honored to be a part of this meaningful donation to such a worthy recipient, and we look forward to supporting Chad’s continued dedication to farming in our community.”
In addition, a Kubota-orange canopy, which will help shield Tackett from the elements while operating his tractor, was donated by Firebird Products, a Kubota supplier for aftermarket accessories. “We are proud to support our veterans,” said Keith Robinson, owner of Firebird Products. “We are thankful for our partnership with Kubota, a company that enables us to support such a worthy cause.”
Based in Davis, Calif., FVC is cultivating a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and developing viable employment opportunities and meaningful careers for veterans through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. FVC believes that food production offers purpose and opportunity, as well as physical and psychological benefits for all veterans. FVC works with veterans from all military branches, their families, employers and mentors to support those returning to or beginning careers in food and farming.
Giving back to our veterans
From the left: Michael O’Gorman, Farmer Veteran Coalition; Todd Stucke, Kubota Tractor Corporation; Chad Tackett, Geared to Give recipient; and Peyton McGill, Palmer Equipment
Farmer veterans can apply to the FVC Fellowship Fund in order to be considered for donated Kubota equipment through the “Geared to Give” program. Kubota has selected its Standard L-Series compact tractors for this program, as their versatility and efficiency are ideal for meeting the varying needs of many small- and medium-sized farming operations.