The Farmer's Exchange Online Home
Friday, October 23, 2020
Michiana's Popular Farm Paper Since 1926
Click here to subscribe today

Run Across Michigan to Benefit State's Farmer Veteran Coalition


by Bev Berens

Published: Friday, September 11, 2020

Maj. Maggie Seymour began her Labor Day Weekend on the run. For the next 11 days, she will make her way along Michigan's southern corridor, running about 17 miles daily to raise funds for Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) of Michigan.

Farmer Veteran Coalition supports veterans with a mission of mobilizing veterans to feed America. The Michigan FVC chapter was one of the original four states to begin a subchapter of the national organization.

The run started Sunday at South Haven's South Beach and will end Sept. 17 at the Michigan/Canada border near Detroit with a celebration event welcoming her to the finish line.

Michigan is Seymour's 18th state to cross, raising money for organizations that help communities and support charitable causes through her 501c3 non-profit, Run Free.

"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."

She recognizes the similarities between farming, military service and running; all three require rugged individualism and communities.

"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 folks working the land."

Growing up in a small town, she has walked beans and detasseled corn during her summers.

Seymour had to exercise her flex on the trip to Michigan when a major vehicle breakdown delayed her arrival to Michigan, moving the start day back by 24 hours.

No matter. She will just tack a few extra miles each day on her four-hour run which she calls slow and easy. Previous cross-state runs covered a grueling 30 miles each day, but this trip is different. An extra passenger is tagging along for the ride as she learned while planning the run that she is expecting her first child this winter.

Along the way, Seymour will spend the night at host farms where she can set up camp and get a hot shower. Buckham Farms of Kalamazoo was one of the first stops where she found herself in the middle of sheep breeding season on a large purebred farm specializing in club and show lamb genetics. A glimpse of her daily run and stops can be found on her blog at https://www.facebook.com/runfreerun, where donations can also be made toward the $5,000 goal.

Jason Scramlin is a board member for FVC-Michigan.

"We are very fortunate to have Maggie Seymour coming to Michigan to assist in raising funds for our chapter," he said, noting that she is a national influencer bringing attention to both agriculture and veterans through this run. "Maj. Seymour has a log 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."

"As a combat veteran and passionate about Michigan agriculture, I am proud of the Farmer Veteran Coalition mission and proud to serve on the board. Our efforts are to connect veterans to farming, and that has many benefits to vets."

Maggie is stationed in Beaufort, S.C., where she serves in the Marine Corp Reserves and does some military contracting work. She is accompanied by her running coach and companion, retired Master Sgt. Jordan Weeks, and his daughter Sophie.

Return to Top of Page