Kubota Tractor Corporation today announced that 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 today 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 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.
When told by phone that he had been selected as this quarter’s “Geared to Give” recipient, Scramlin exclaimed, “I am overwhelmed with this news and it is quite an honor to have been selected. As young, beginning farmers, it is challenging to make needed improvements while covering current costs. We have borrowed tractors from our neighbors and family to get the work done around the farm. Having our own tractor will greatly reduce our physical labor demands and lower our labor costs, and we couldn’t be more thankful.”
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 provides equipment and funding for farmers like Jason, giving them the tools needed to make a real difference in their farming operations,” said Alex Woods, Kubota vice president of product resources, parts, and divisional operations. “With each tractor donation from Kubota, we are making an investment in the future of farming, and today we’re giving back to Jason in the same way he gives back to his community every day.”
Scramlin left the family farm in 1997 to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school. While he was stationed in 29 Palms he deployed to Iraq and twice to Okinawa, Japan, serving as a Fire Direction Controlman with India Battery 3rd Battalion 11th Marines Field Artillery Unit. Scramlin reenlisted to accept an assignment to Marine Security Guard Duty, where he served 30 months overseas as an embassy guard at several U.S. Embassies. He was honorably discharged in 2005 and immediately began school at MSU. Today, he operates Split Rail Farm, in addition to serving the members of Michigan Farm Bureau as the West Michigan Regional Representative. He also is involved with organizations such as 4-H and FFA where he helps connect youth from his community with opportunities in agriculture by opening his farm for hands-on learning.
“My goal is to help the next generation learn and appreciate farm life, and ultimately empower them with the skills needed to get into farming. 4-H was a huge part of my childhood; my involvement in the organization gave me many skills and I feel it’s very important to pass that along,” said Scramlin.
Scramlin’s hands-on approach is what made his application stand out. “As a third-generation farmer armed with a business plan, Jason is exactly the type of farmer veteran our organization helps to serve,” said Michael O’Gorman, executive director of FVC. “He is connected to his community and committed to growing his family-owned business into a thriving success, and we are proud to have him as our first ‘Geared to Give’ recipient in Michigan.”
Scramlin’s L-Series tractor will be equipped with a 60” Land Pride Rotary Cutter, made possible by a generous donation from Bronsink and Bos, Scramlin’s authorized Kubota dealer in Mattawan, Mich. “We have been proudly serving this community since 2004,” said Lew Bronsink, co-owner of Bronsink and Bos. “We are honored to be a part of this meaningful donation to such a worthy recipient, and we look forward to supporting Jason’s continued success as he grows his farm and remains a dedicated entrepreneur in our community.”
In addition, a Kubota-orange canopy, which will help shield Scramlin from the elements while operating his tractor, was donated by Firebird Products, a Kubota supplier for aftermarket accessories. “We are proud of our veterans,” said Keith Robinson, owner of Firebird Products. “We are thankful for a partnership with a company such as Kubota 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.
Farmer veterans like Scramlin 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. For more information about the “Geared to Give” program, visit www.kubotacares.com. To learn more about FVC, visit www.farmvetco.org.