NICEVILLE, Fla. – A farmer veteran living in Niceville has been awarded a Kubota tractor through Kubota’s “Geared to Give” program.
Robert Bartleson, of Niceville, was handed the keys to his new MX Series utility tractor with TV personality and outdoorsman Willie Robertson at the Duck Commander Warehouse in West Monroe, Louisiana last week, according to an announcement by Kubota Tractor Corporation.
Bartleson is a U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran who owns and operates BucknHam Farms in Crestview with his wife, Kristie. BucknHam Farms is a 21-acre non-GMO organic regenerative farm where the Bartlesons raise laying hens, goats, and pigs.
“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.”
The 2022 “Geared to Give” program received more than 400 applications through FVC’s Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, Kubota said. One recipient was selected by and for each of Kubota’s five operating divisions across the U.S.
Bartleson, who won the southeast division, 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.
Bartleson’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.
Kubota awarded Bartleson 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.
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.