Bush Hog Territory Sales Manager Phil Britt, middle, explains the features of the Bush Hog zero-turn mower won by Eddie Backman, left, and son Calvin, right, in a raffle to benefit the American Veterans organization.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Pioneer Farm Equipment, of Orangeburg, S.C., in conjunction with Bush Hog, raffled off a special edition Bush Hog zero-turn mower to raise money and awareness for American Veterans or AMVETS, an organization working to enhance and safeguard the entitlements for all veterans who have served honorably. All proceeds will go to helping veterans and their families transition back into civilian life.

Bush Hog Territory Sales Manager Phil Britt presented the mower to Swansea, S.C., farmer Eddie Backman.

"This is probably the biggest thing I have ever won," Backman said, adding he has won tool sets in the past but has little luck in such things. "I think it is a good cause. I think it is good to give back."

The camouflage $11,000 Bush Hog has been on display at various farm machinery shows across the country since January and was officially raffled off in October. Tickets were $10 a piece. About $10,000 was raised for AMVETS with the raffle. Backman won the equipment out of an estimated 1,000 raffle tickets sold. Backman purchased the winning ticket at a farm equipment expo in Moultrie, Ga. He has attended the expo for the past dozen years.

The camo Bush Hog was raffled off alongside a pink Bush Hog, which was given away for breast cancer awareness. Bush Hog has been raising money for breast cancer awareness for the past 4 years.

Britt said "as an old Southern company" started in the late 1940s, Bush Hog has a number of veterans working in its ranks. "We need to support our men and women who have gone and served our country," Britt said. He said the Bush Hog is part Bush Hog's Zero-Turn Professional PZ Series mower and the equipment is made in Selma, Ala.

"We are fortunate to be a part of this," Pioneer President Todd McElhone said. "Bush Hog is a great company to be partnered with and they are doing great things to raise money and awareness for our veterans."

"Often times, our active service men and women and veterans are underappreciated," McElhone said. It is nice to be able to do something like this to show our respect for their service."

Family-owned and operated, Pioneer Farm Equipment was established in May 1978 with Steiger Tractors and Amco Disc Harrows being its only whole goods. Over the years, the company has acquired New Holland, Massey Ferguson and Kubota brand tractors.