In honor of its 50th anniversary in the U.S., Kubota Tractor Corporation named five winners in its annual Kubota Hometown Proud Grant Program, each to receive $100,000, to help revitalize a community project. Now, each of the five winners are put up for a public vote, and the hometown project with the most votes will win an additional $100,000 grant as the Community Choice Award winner. Every vote cast at KubotaHometownProud.com is entered into a separate sweepstakes for a chance to win a Kubota sub-compact tractor or zero-turn mower. Here’s a look at the winning organizations:
Food Bank of Monterey County and 5-Acre Farm and Kids Food Fix, Salinas, Calif.: As the childhood poverty capital of California, building nutritional security for children in the Salinas Valley is essential, and expanding the Monterey Food Bank campus is an important next step toward that goal. ‘Five-Acre Farm and Kids Food Fix’ puts children at the center of a hands-on learning experience and uses healthy food to engage all aspects of the child’s education. The Food Bank of Monterey County currently serves 160,000 individuals each month, over half of them are children. The Kubota Hometown Proud grant will be used to help build out a large barn, which will serve as the hub, offering a test kitchen, production space and community gathering space to serve school children and their families. If awarded the additional Community Choice Award grant, the organization will also be able to set up irrigation on the five acres, prep the land, and plant their first crops onsite.
Rancho Brazos Community Centers’ Douglas Long Outreach Center for Children, Granbury, Texas: On May 15, 2013, an EF4 tornado destroyed much of the community of Rancho Brazos, a subdivision in Granbury, Texas, a rural community located in Hood County 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas. Despite this devastating event, the spirit of the people in this community continues to shine. To enhance and continue its services, the Rancho Brazos Community Centers is getting support from Kubota to develop a new distribution center titled Douglas Long Outreach Center for Children on 4.66 acres of land leased from Hood County for the sum of $1 per year for 99 years. Kubota will help the organization fund the development and maintenance of a community garden, livestock area, and various agricultural projects for the local community and will break ground this summer. If awarded the additional Community Choice Award grant, the organization will be able to enhance its rainwater collection system as well as expand its physical footprint to allow the space to teach local children about gardening, compost, livestock care, and sustainable irrigation.
New Richmond Area Community Foundation for Will’s Playground, New Richmond, Wis.: Teresa De Young, a mom raising her family in New Richmond, Wisconsin, realized that there were no local playgrounds in her area that were accessible to her son, Will, who has Down Syndrome. She became more involved in her community to make play accessible to ALL children growing up in their hometown of New Richmond, Wisconsin. Kubota is proud to partner with the New Richmond Area Community Foundation on Will’s Playground and is awarding one of the 2022 Kubota Hometown Proud grants to the cause. The $100,000 grant will support demo of an out-of-date play structure and construction of a new, large-scale, all-access universal design playground including areas for sensory play, landscaping, fencing and accessible restrooms. If awarded the additional Community Choice Award grant, the organization will be able to improve the surrounding fence and add more playground equipment including adaptive swings and sensory equipment with auditory and tactile elements.
Homesteads for Hope Community Farm, Rochester, N.Y.: Homesteads for Hope is a 55-acre community farm located along the Historic Erie Canal in Rochester, NY. While many nonprofits in the special needs community did not survive the pandemic, Homesteads grew over the last few years, and was able to take in some of the people who had nowhere else to go. The farm currently serves over 600 families and hosts over 3,000 visitors each year. This intentional community breaks down barriers with programs that use “nature’s classroom” to teach adults with disabilities important life skills and how to work real jobs. Kubota is proud to award one of its 2022 Kubota Hometown Proud grants to Homesteads for Hope, where the $100,000 will be used to: (1) expand their Social Garden Program for those with more challenging needs and mobility-based disabilities, (2) double their 80-plot community garden and the program’s impact, and (3) renovate the estate home with new doors and windows to weatherproof the main program spaces for year-round use. If awarded the additional Community Choice Grant, the organization will also be able to: (1) finish the renovation on their 18th century historic barns to include new siding and electrical upgrades and (2) pour new concrete pathways to increase accessibility. These projects would allow Homesteads to triple the amount of people they serve and give them the momentum needed to start their eagerly anticipated inclusive housing village, which will give 250-300 people of all abilities a place to call home.
Langton Green, Inc., Community Farm, Annapolis, Md.: Langton Green applied for the Kubota Hometown Proud grant program seeking funding to provide garden plots for older people and people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The project was born out of a community need to reach older adults combatting loneliness, particularly among seniors who have relocated to community residential facilities. In the process, Langton Green hopes that more members of the community will join in gardening, volunteering, and participating in farm events, resulting in more friendships with visitors for Langton Green residents. Langton Green offers job coaching, vocational training, and access to meaningful paid and volunteer positions at the Langton Green Community Farm. The Kubota Hometown Proud grant of $100,000 will be used to add raised garden beds to help provide vegetables, fruit, and eggs to more than the existing 100 community residents it already feeds, equipment to help maintain the program and renovation costs for its facilities. If awarded the additional Community Choice Award grant, the organization will be able to build on the newly developed community garden space to establish a ½ acre accessible garden with paths, invest in solar power for a recently completed Performance and Arts Garden, and purchase a replacement mower to maintain the 13-acre property and augment the landscaping operation that employs adults with disabilities.
In the spirit of “Together We Do More,” Kubota is calling for the public’s help in selecting a winner for its Community Choice Award grant, which would essentially double the award money for one of the five community projects. From now until July 25 at 11:59 p.m. CT, the public is invited to visit KubotaHometownProud.com to cast a vote for one of the top five community projects. Every vote cast will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes* for a chance to win a Kubota residential Z200 Series zero-turn mower or BX Series sub-compact tractor. Voters can enter one vote per day for more chances to win. The community project with the most votes will be announced as the Community Choice Award winner in August 2022.