The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers program recently announced the Excellence in Agriculture award winners. The three runners-up were each awarded a Case IH Farmall® 45A tractor at the AFBF annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Are you involved with AFBF? How has your involvement benefitted you?
The Excellence in Agriculture award is given to those who exemplify growth in agriculture and heavy involvement in Farm Bureau. Judges look for participants who show concern for current agricultural issues and are willing to advocate for the values they believe in.
Congratulations to this year’s runners-up!
Dr. Emily and John Buck – Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Dr. Emily and John Buck of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, are currently operating the family farm that was started by John’s grandparents. They farm 700 acres in Marion County, Ohio, and another 300 acres in Akron of corn, wheat and soybeans. Emily also has restarted her sheep herd and says that she hopes to grow that part of the operation.
Emily first got involved with Farm Bureau in Florida while she was in graduate school. When she moved to Ohio, she remained involved and currently serves as county board secretary. She has attended the Young Ag Professionals leadership conference in Ohio and helped with many county events, including the county fair and the Harvest Hustle 5K.
The Bucks plan to use their new Farmall for cleaning out barns, spreading manure and pulling wagons for hay rides during educational tours that they host at their farm. They are very grateful to Case IH for sponsoring this award and helping young farmers grow in the industry.
Chuck Yoest and Jennifer Hatcher – College Grove, Tenn.
Between managing full-time jobs as well as a successful dairy operation, Chuck Yoest and Jennifer Hatcher of College Grove, Tenn., stay very busy. The couple runs Hatcher Family Dairy, a farm-to-table operation. They bottle their own milk and distribute it to about 40 vendors, including farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants and their own store, Hatcher Family Dairy Store. They also sell beef and lamb and host farm tours of their facilities. Jennifer, a large-animal veterinarian, runs her practice from the farm and Chuck is a wildlife biologist.
The couple is involved with Farm Bureau on the district, state and national levels. They first got involved when they restarted their county’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program after it had been inactive for nearly 20 years. Since then, Yoest has served as chairman at both the county and district levels, and he and his wife have been very active in various state events.
Although this will be the first piece of Case IH equipment on the couple’s farm, they cannot wait to put it to use maintaining their grounds and for farm tours. They think it is incredible that Case IH is willing to support the Young Farmers & Ranchers program and are very humbled to receive this award.
W.P. and Amy Johnson – Moneta, Va.
Continuing to build their third-generation farming operation, W.P. and Amy Johnson, of Moneta, Va., were excited to have been nominated for the Excellence in Agriculture award. Their 750-acre farm started as a dairy and beef operation and has transitioned to wheat, soybean and hay production. W.P. got involved with Farm Bureau in 2006 and he is currently the county board vice president.
Aside from Farm Bureau, W.P. serves as county executive director for the USDA Farm Services Agency in Pittsylvania County. He is also a member of the Bedford County Agricultural Economic Development Advisory Board.
The new Farmall will be the first piece of Case IH equipment on the Johnsons’ farm. They cannot wait to see how they can use it on their operation. The couple was ecstatic and truly honored that Case IH decided to sponsor this award. They believe that Case IH is doing a lot to help improve agricultural equipment and help farmers do their jobs to the best of their ability.