American Farm Bureau Recognizes Young Farmer and Rancher Competition Winners

Winners of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions were announced at the American Farm Bureau’s 104th Convention. Young farmers and ranchers from across the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge, achievement and commitment to promoting agriculture.

First place award winners in each of the three competitions receive $35,000 in credit toward a new Ford vehicle, as well as paid registration to the AFBF FUSION Conference, which will be held March 3-6 in Jacksonville, Florida. Both prizes are provided by Ford Motor Company.

Runners-up who finish in second place in each competition receive a $25,000 credit toward new Case IH equipment, courtesy of Case IH.  Finalists in third place receive a $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize from AmericanAg, a Case IH-branded safe, courtesy of Case IH, as well as $1,665 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker. Finalists in fourth place receive a Case IH-branded Solo Stove worth more than $1,000, courtesy of Case IH.

Daniel & Carla Trantham, Achievement Award winners; AFBF President Zippy Duvall; YF&R Chair Alisha Schwertner; and Melissa Bufford, account supervisor, Ford.    Credit: AFBF Photo, Michael LoBiondo   

Achievement Award

  • Daniel and Carla Trantham of Alabama won the Achievement Award.
  • Derek and Micayla Giffin of Tennessee are the second-place runners-up.
  • Evan Hultine of Illinois won third place.
  • Rachael Sharp of South Carolina is the fourth-place finalist.

The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.

Discussion Meet

  • Mike Hannewald of Ohio won the Discussion Meet.
  • Bernie LeFils of Florida is the second-place runner-up.
  • Kreg Vollmer of Colorado won third place.
  • Rachel Hyde of Indiana is the fourth-place finalist.

The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.

Mike Hannewald, Discussion Meet winner.   Credit: AFBF Photo, Michael LoBiondo   

Excellence in Agriculture Award

  • Stacie Anderson of Ohio won the Excellence in Agriculture Award.
  • Kristy Miron of Minnesota is the second-place runner-up.
  • Garrett and Miranda Driver of California won third place.
  • Kaylee Heap of Illinois is the fourth-place finalist.    

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

New YF&R Executive Team
Also during the convention, members of the AFBF YF&R Committee elected a new executive team. Matt Fimon of Virginia will be the committee’s chair for 2023, taking over the position in March at the end of the FUSION Conference, and will serve for one year. He will also serve a one-year term on the AFBF board of directors.

Heather Graham of Kentucky was elected vice chair and Joel Currier of Colorado was elected secretary. They will each serve one-year terms. 

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