U.S. Marine Maj. Maggie Seymour has a habit of running across states. In fact, Michigan will be her 18th since 2017, which she does through her non-profit organization, Run Free Run.
Each state she runs, she does it for a non-profit cause. Her Michigan run, held Sept. 5-17, will raise funds for the Michigan Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. A goal of $5,000 has been set, and donations have already started. All funds raised will be passed along to the FVC Michigan Chapter, with plans to use these funds to directly support Michigan farmer veterans.
Seymour will be taking a west-to-east route, covering 15 miles per day. Her route can be found here: Run Free Michigan Route. On this link, you can see her route, as well as start/stop points, and corresponding schedule. She will be traveling with South Carolina-based fellow Marine Corps retired Master Sgt. Jordan Weeks.
“I think I do this because it’s my way of both seeing the diversity and richness of this country — it’s land, people, and culture — and it’s also my way of giving back to local organizations that are serving those very communities that are allowing me to visit,” Seymour said. “Farmer Veteran Coalition Michigan is the perfect non-profit to benefit from my run because it serves veterans like myself and empowers my fellow veterans to reconnect to the land and grow and raise the food that feeds us all.”
Seymour said she’s from a small farm town, “where I’ve walked bean fields and detasseled corn during the summer, and there are a lot of similarities between farming, military service, and running.”
“All three take rugged individualism and communities,” she said. “And all take planning, but also the ability to flex — go with whatever the weather and life throws at you. So, I’m very excited to run through the Midwest and meet the folks working the land.”
The Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan is dedicated to support the growth and success of Michigan’s military veterans through agriculture.
FVC-MI develops and administers programs specifically designed to meet the needs of farmer veterans in the state of Michigan and collaborates with veteran and agricultural organizations within the state to ensure Michigan farmer veterans are given the best opportunity to become successful and sustainable within the agricultural community.
“We are thrilled to have Maggie run across our great state to raise awareness for the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan,” said FVC-MI President Nick Babcock. “Just like Major Seymour’s dedication to run across every state, our membership is dedicated to bringing fresh locally grown produce, meats and value-added products to our local community and beyond.”
How can you help? Share the link, raise awareness, and donate. Also, reach out to former active duty Marine Staff Sgt. and Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Jason Scramlin for more information. He serves on the board at FVC-MI.
“As a combat veteran and passionate about Michigan agriculture, I am proud of the Farm Veteran Coalition mission and proud to serve on the board,” Scramlin said. “Our efforts are to connect veterans to farming, and that has many benefits to vets.
“We are very fortunate to have Maggie Seymore coming to Michigan to assist in raising funds for our chapter,” he continued. “Maj. Seymour has a long track record of supporting non-profits across the country through her long-distance running, and the timing is right. This is an activity we can all support and be proud of. It’s a local event that won’t compromise social distancing, all while promoting a healthy lifestyle, and supporting veterans and agriculture. This is the perfect mixture of goodness that we all need right now in our lives.”
Several farms along the route have stepped up to host Seymour and Weeks. It will allow the farm families the opportunity to host a national influencer who has very limited agricultural exposure by sharing their stories, and have a positive influence on the industry that provides food, fiber, and fuel for our nation.
Currently status of rest locations:
- Sept. 5, TBD, Gobles area
- Sept. 6, Buckham Farm, commercial sheep, Alamo/Kalamazoo (non-veteran)
- Sept. 7, Split Rail Farm, sheep and rotational pasture management, Hickory Corners (veteran)
- Sept. 8, Adam Bean, honey bees and blueberries, Battle Creek (veteran)
- Sept. 9, TBD, Albion area
- Sept. 10, David Allen, honey bees, Jackson (veteran)
- Sept. 11, TBD, Grass Lake area
- Sept. 12, Mike Bossory, Alber Orchard & Cider Mill, Manchester
- Sept. 13, TBD, Ypsilanti area
- Sept. 14, TBD, Wayne area
You can check out Seymour’s blog, how to donate, and her other efforts here.