David Yount, Rask Farm


David Yount, Air Force Veteran, is one of the awardees for this year’s Fellowship Fund. Born and raised in Oregon, and retired as of January 1st, 2022, David has an abundance of experience working and repairing things. During his younger years on his family’s farm, he would often spend his time working on something and taking things apart, sometimes upsetting his parents.

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Military service runs in his family, with relatives having served since the 1800s. Right out of high school, David enlisted into the Army reserves and went to boot camp in 1980. After less than a year, his uncles talked him into switching to the Air Force. After three months of more basic training, he became a test equipment calibration repair technician. His job was to repair and calibrate all the test equipment that the flight line mechanics used on the jets. He would end up spending just over six years in the Air Force, half of which was overseas in Germany.


After leaving the Air Force in January of 1987, he got a job with Johnson & Johnson, moving up the ranks and traveling around the world setting up distribution centers. After twenty years with them, he went back home to Oregon and worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield for almost thirteen years. Afterwards, he moved to Kentucky with his wife, Karen, and bought 8 acres of land just down the road from his brother-in-law’s 50-acre farm.


It was then that his love for farming was rekindled. His brother-in-law, Jon, ended up being his mentor and helped him set up his farm. Despite having his own land, David still wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. One day, the idea of growing Christmas trees was brought up. Real, genuine Christmas trees are very scarce where David is in Kentucky. People would have to drive over an hour and spend more than $100 to get one. The farm was in a central location near major cities with half a million people and no Christmas tree farms! After hearing that, David got excited. When he was younger, one of the things he looked forward to most was going out into the woods with his family and cutting down a tree for Christmas.

One of David’s first thoughts was “how hard could it be?” Little did he know, Kentucky is a tough place to grow Christmas trees. The weather, insects, and other factors made it seem as if everything was against him. But despite the hardships that he faced; he was determined to make it work. One source of encouragement that helped him stay true to his goal was listening to Paul Harvey’s speech “So God Made a Farmer.” As David put it, it talks about “the dedication, the hardship, and the rewards of being a farmer.” Every time he listens to the speech, it inspires him and reminds him that he can, and will, make this work.


Rask Farm is very much a family business. Jon, owner of Sherwood Acres, has a lot of farming experience and teaches David so many things. He serves as more of the face of the Christmas tree business while David is the back end, wholesale part of it. Karen, David’s wife, offers support and always helps whenever she can. Jon’s daughter helps with marketing and his son-in-law offers a bunch of business expertise. Everyone is involved.

One of the most interesting parts of David’s farm is the name. The logo for Rask Farm includes the name and three Christmas trees with a cat hiding behind the middle one. The cat, named Tuukka Rask, is the official mascot of the farm and its namesake. Named after former Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, their cat appeared on their doorstep three years ago and now runs the place.


David expressed the need to surround yourself with people who support you. He also emphasized how important it is to be involved with organizations who have similar goals. The Ag office at the University of Kentucky, local Christmas tree organizations and of course, Farmer Veteran Coalition are organizations that have helped David out so far. David suggested always being willing to learn so you don’t end up being blindsided by something.

According to David, applying for the Fellowship Fund was easy. He praised the smooth process and appreciated that he was forced to take a step back to think about his business plan. “It made me really re-evaluate, does my business case make sense? Where is it strong, where is it weak,” said David. He was awarded $1,000 through a Tractor Supply Company gift card. David plans on using the funds for a greenhouse to grow seeds or seedlings in a more controlled, protected environment.


FVC’s goal with the Fellowship Fund is to help our members truly take off with their ideas for the farms and businesses, and David is proof of that. He plans to expand his farm, along with his brother-in-law, to include a gift shop, events on the farm, and provide a true Christmas experience as customers purchase real Christmas trees. David had a lot to offer and was happy to share his experiences with us and hopes that it can help others as well.

For more information about David’s farm, visit or email them at