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[Source: INEDA, 05.17 | Keywords: Human Resources, Employment, Veterans]

The equipment industry is full of people and businesses who give back to the community. Several ag, OPE and industrial equipment manufacturers currently direct their philanthropic efforts toward the men and women who have served our country. Following is a brief look at ten who went the extra mile to support our military veterans during the past year…

Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton provided financial donations and equipment for the Horicon Marsh Veterans Hunt, a program that assists veterans by getting them outside and involved in hunting. Every year, the Hunt takes as many veterans as possible for a weekend of hunting and relaxation in Wisconsin. It is intended to be a healing process for war veterans and a source of camaraderie for veterans who may have difficulties talking about their experiences. The contributions were part of Briggs & Stratton’s “You.Powered.” initiative,
which highlights stories of people using outdoor power equipment to improve the lives of their neighbors and communities.

Caterpillar leaders and employees have participated in several Hiring Our Heroes military recruiting fairs each year. Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, pairs veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses with companies seeking quality employees. Caterpillar also partners with Veteran Jobs Mission, Army Pays and American Corporate Partners.

Construction Community Gives Back 
Attendees and exhibitors of the 2017 CONEXPO-CON/AGG joined together to raise over $100,000 to help military veterans find quality jobs through multiple charitable events throughout the week. The proceeds, which benefit the show’s official charitable partner, the Call of Duty™ Endowment, were raised through online, silent and live auctions, as well as an after-hours concert by the multi-platinum rock band FOREIGNER. “These new benefit events offered the opportunity for CONEXPO-CON/AGG participants to not only network and have fun, but also rally together as a construction industry community to raise funds to support military veterans,” said Sara Truesdale Mooney, show director and AEM vice president of exhibitions and business development.

Dixie Chopper
Dixie Chopper celebrated Hometown Heroes by offering current and retired members of the U.S. Military, police, fire, paramedic or EMT services savings up to $300 off the purchase of a new Dixie Chopper lawn mower.

John Deere
Military personnel can receive a free Platinum membership in John Deere’s GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards Program. John Deere also partners with Army Pays and American Corporate Partners—two organizations that assist veterans seeking employment.

Kioti Tractor
In March, Kioti Tractor donated a DK5510 HS utility tractor equipped with a front end loader to the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA for the exclusive use of the Veteran’s Farm of North Carolina. The Veteran’s Farm of North Carolina works to provide temporary housing and training for soldiers transitioning out of the military with a career interest in agriculture. The tractor will be utilized to train local veterans to operate their own farms.

Kubota Tractor Corporation
Kubota Tractor Corporation launched “Geared To Give” in March 2015, a program in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition that provides financial support and donated Kubota equipment to U.S. military veterans pursuing a future in farming.

Mahindra USA
Mahindra USA has partnered with Rush Limbaugh the last three years to honor the service and sacrifice of our military men and women with the Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway promotion on The Rush Limbaugh Show. Last year, one lucky veteran won a Mahindra mPact® XTV 750S utility vehicle in camo. Mahindra USA also supports programs such as Operation Finally Home, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to military heroes and their families.

Polaris RZR teamed with country superstar Brantley Gilbert and the Disabled American Veterans last
December to spread some cheer during the holiday season to three veterans and their families. Two
Marines and an Army vet, all fans of Gilbert, were invited to High Lifter’s Off-Road Park in Louisiana with their families. The families were under the assumption they were helping with a promo video; instead, they were treated to a day of off-road riding with Gilbert and a private acoustic set. The evening was topped off when each family was surprised with a Polaris RZR XP 1000 of their very own.

Stihl, Inc.
Stihl, Inc. joined hundreds of landscape professionals last July to beautify and improve the grounds at Arlington National Cemetery as part of Renewal and Remembrance, the largest industry day of service in the country. The event was organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals to honor and give back to our country’s fallen heroes by helping to ensure the health and pristine condition of the land where 400,000 service members and their families rest. Stihl was a silver-level sponsor of the event.