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Fighter to Farmer 2017: The Popular Contest Is Back!

He would do anything for anybody. He’s a hard worker, a great provider for his family, and he has an immense amount of kindness and love for everything he does,”  says Marilyn Huttes about her husband, Bob. 

Bob Huttes’ dedication to service has been evident his entire life. After graduating from high school, he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the National Guard, where he served for 34 years. Two years before his retirement in 2013, Huttes volunteered for a year-long deployment to help rebuild Afghanistan’s ag sector. Today, he continues to give back by volunteering for the local fire district, community center, and his church. That’s when he’s not busy working on the family’s 2,000-acre farm in Sprague, Nebraska. 

When you look at Huttes’ story, it’s easy to see why he was selected as the 2016 Grand Prize winner for the Fighter to Farmer Contest. The decision was far from easy, though, because there were more than 120 outstanding farmer veterans who entered last year’s contest, including the other winners: Captain Michael Nocton and Sergeant First Class David Baumann.

With so many incredible entries, Successful Farming magazine and Grasshopper Mowers decided to bring back the Fighter to Farmer Contest in 2017.

TWO WINNERS

While the core part of the contest will remain the same this year, there have been a few changes.

Once again, the contest will look at each farmer veteran’s military service, farming operation, and involvement in the community. One winner selected on these attributes will receive $6,000 toward the purchase of a new Grasshopper mower and $4,000 cash. 

New this year, the second winner will be a veteran who has a service-connected disability. In addition to $6,000 toward the purchase of a Grasshopper mower and a $4,000 check, this farmer veteran will also receive a consultation from AgrAbility and $5,000 to purchase adaptive equipment or other services to enhance his or her quality of life. AgrAbility is a program sponsored by the USDA that provides assistance to farmers affected by disability. The organization provides free on-site assessments to farmers to identify barriers to completing tasks, both on the farm and at home. Then, AgrAbility recommends appropriate assistive technology, modified work practices, or other solutions to overcome disability-related limitations. This is the process AgrAbility will follow with the second winner, using the funding from Grasshopper Mowers to purchase the recommended solutions. 

HOW TO ENTER

Go to Agriculture.com/fightertofarmer. Fill out the form, making sure you include the following.

Your name, phone number, email address, and relationship to the nominee.

Farmer veteran name, phone number, email address, and mailing address.

Military branch, length of active duty service, and if the veteran has service-connected disabilities.

In 500 words or less, describe the farmer veteran’s military experience, farming operation, and involvement in the community.

Or, mail your entry with the information above to Successful Farming Fighter to Farmer, 1716 Locust Street/LS257, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023.

CONTEST RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and D.C., 13 years and older. Begins: 12:01 a.m. C.T. on 3/1/17 and ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on 4/30/17. Subject to Official Rules at www.Agriculture.com/fightertofarmerrules. Void in Alaska, Hawaii and where prohibited. Sponsor: Meredith Corporation. 

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