BARODA — A Baroda Township farmer’s years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves earned him a bonus Friday from Tractor Supply Co.
Michael Price, 32, enjoyed a $1,000 shopping spree at the Stevensville store under the chain’s Armed Forces Day shopping event in partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition. He was among 50 veterans so honored nationwide under the program, TSC reported.
“I was always one of those people who said I never win anything,” he said about the award.
Price said he used the money to fund oil changes, maintenance and parts for his five tractors.
Price said he farms 50 acres along Holden and Marrs roads. This year he’s raising soy beans. In years past, the farm has produced vegetables and fruit, including grapes. In addition, he has grown corn. He said he sold much of the produce at Southwest Michigan farmers markets.
The reservist supports Coast Guard operations. He said that for most of his eight years with the Coast Guard he served at the St. Joseph station. In recent years, he has served in Michigan City, Ind.
Most of the TSC shopping sprees took place Saturday, but Price was scheduled for Coast Guard drills that day.
If farming and Coast Guard reserves are not enough, Price works as a general contractor – and he said he’s been very busy in the trade.
Atop that, he and his wife, Christina, have an 11-month-old daughter.
TSC runs the program in celebration of the 68th annual Armed Forces Day. Veterans were paired with Tractor Supply staff for personalized shopping experiences.
“Agriculture provides a meaningful, purposeful career that not only benefits the farmer, but also the community it serves,” said Colin Yankee, retired army captain and senior vice president of supply chain at TSC. “Through Tractor Supply’s partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition, we can provide a token of our gratitude to these veterans as they continue to give back to their communities in a new way through agriculture.”
This year FVC, the nation’s largest nonprofit assisting military veterans embarking on agriculture careers, distributed a total of $300,000 to 125 recipients through the Fellowship Fund. Rather than distributing money directly to the veterans, awardees use third-party vendors to provide items.
This year’s awardees were selected by a team of seasoned agriculture industry professionals. Criteria included farm training and experience, personal investment in their farm business, a clear need for assistance, and their vision and goals for the future of their farm business.