Lithia residents Russell and Danielle Guzzetta received some news last month that will help them get a step closer to their dreams. The owners of Country Song Farm are the proud recipients of a Kubota tractor, which they plan to use to expand their business, thanks to an award from the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC).
Russell, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, applied for a grant through the FVC’s Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, a small program providing direct assistance to veterans in the beginning years of farming or ranching.
“We completed the application, answered the essay questions and submitted our full business plan, all of which is required by the fund application,” said Russel. “Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000, which is what we were crossing our fingers for.”
But the couple was thrilled when they received the news that, from more than 400 applications, they were chosen as the Kubota Corporation’s Southeast Division 2019 recipients of a L-Series L2501HST tractor with a large bucket, reverse-till rotary tiller and canopy.
The tractor was donated by the Kubota Tractor Corporation through its Geared to Give program, which partners with FVC to support military veterans in farming.
“I guess you could say that there are people out there willing to take a chance on you because they see something in you,” said Russell. “The decision to [award] the tractor was made by folks that are farmers or veterans, or both. It is a great community to be a part of and we couldn’t be more grateful to them.”
Country Song Farm, which the couple purchased two years ago, grows sunflowers and zinnias year-round, along with a rotating crop of more seasonal blooms. The couple grows, cuts and arranges farm-fresh bouquets and sells them locally. They also grow flowers in bulk for restaurants, boutiques and weddings. Photographers use the farm for photo shoots.
“The new tractor will undoubtedly ease much of the hard labor having to do with composting, dirt moving and soil building and it will definitely make expansion a reality,” said Russel.
Country Song Farm is located off of Dorman Rd. in Lithia, 2.2 miles from FishHawk. More information on the farm is available at www.countrysongfarm.com or on Facebook by searching Country Song Farm. To learn more about the FVC, visit www.farmvetco.org.