Belvidere farmer Kary Robinson’s unceasing commitment to his profession has resulted in accolades from the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation as the state’s Young Farmer runner-up and the use of a new 150-horsepower Kubota M7 tractor.
Robinson, 28, was in the federation’s annual contest and submitted a detailed application featuring his approach to agriculture and his focus on improving his operation in the future so other farmers and consumers can benefit from what he has accomplished.
Robinson was edged out of top honors by Dyer County farmer Hunter Grills, who garnered a new Case-International tractor. Robinson jokingly added that he harbors no ill feelings toward Grills because he happens to be a fellow farming friend.
The differences in the tractors stems down to the brand with Kubota and Case-International strongly supporting the Young Farmer program.
Robinson was presented with the tractor on Feb. 10 at his family’s 417 Sugartree Dr. farm in Belvidere with Jeff Aikin, Farm Bureau Federation president, and Lee Maddox, the federation’s Communication Division director, on hand as well as Franklin County Mayor David Alexander, Franklin County Extension Agent Mary Beth Henley and other representatives from agricultural entities.
Robinson wasn’t given the Kubota outright but was granted its use for a year or 250 hours of field use, whichever comes first.
He said he’s betting it’ll be the 250 hours because the tractor will serve the family’s owned-and-leased 3,000-acre operation well and will save on wear and tear on the Robinsons’ existing farm equipment.
He added he has an option to buy the Kubota after its tenure at the Robinson farm has expired, and he may take further advantage of another potentially great opportunity.
Robinson said he’s gladly accepting the Kubota arrangement.
“It’s a very nice award,” he said. “What more could a farmer want from a contest?”
Aiken said the Young Farmer contest is open to agriculturalists who are 18 to 35 years of age.
He said the objective is to inspire a younger farming generation to strive to prosper and improve their operations which has multiple benefits, such as better food products, more environmentally friendly land management practices, economic viability and preserving a way of life that extends for generations.
Justin Ferguson, a Kubota Corp. regional sales manager based in Knoxville, said Kubota thoroughly supports the Young Farmer contest.
“We’re thrilled to provide him with a new tractor,” Ferguson said, adding that farming is vital to Tennessee’s wellbeing. “We can’t put a price on the relationship and value for the role farmers have in agriculture and the younger farmers being successful. It’s the future.”
Ferguson then referred to Kubota’s role in the process.
“We’ve got to invest in this and feed this state and others,” he said.
Robinson said the family farm, called “Sugartree Farms,” produces corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, hay, straw and occasionally delves into rye production. He added that the Robinsons also sell Farm King grain-handling equipment.
Maddox said the Robinsons have a long-established track record amid the state’s agricultural circles.
He explained that Kary’s parents, Mike and Krislyn Robinson, were actively involved in the Young Farmer program when they were their children’s age.
He added that Kary and his twin brother, Tracy, have also been leaders in other programs and have received conservation awards.
“It’s a neat environment, and they’ve strived to protect farmers and reduce the effects of climate change,” Maddox said, referring to the Robinson’s approach toward farming. “A lot of people think farmers damage the environment, but they’ve been protecting it for years, and they’ll do it for years to come.”
Maddox said the Robinsons have followed that focus and set a strong example for other farmers to follow.