Indiana Farm Bureau


For more information, contact: Meggie Foster, 317-692-7183
Mindy Reef, 317-692-7822,

Jan. 25, 2014

Note to editors, news directors: The release below should be of particular interest to media that cover Adams, Bartholomew, Clay, Elkhart, Fountain, Grant, Jasper, LaPorte and Tippecanoe counties.

Young Farmer programs recognized

More than 500 young farmers and ranchers are in Indianapolis this weekend for the annual Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference.

LaPorte County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer program was recognized as the top program in the state. The Young Farmer committee chairman and a guest will receive an expenses-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., in February. Jasper and Adams counties were runners-up.

Clay, Elkhart and Tippecanoe counties received the Awakening Award. The Awakening Award was started in 1998 as a part of the outstanding county program to recognize county Young Farmer programs that are new or have not applied for the contest in the last three years.

Grant County was recognized as the most improved Young Farmer Program. This is based on a comparison of activities of the past three years and how the activities and programs have improved in that county young farmer program.

Two counties were recognized for their contributions to the Feeding America program. Bartholomew County donated the most volunteer hours and the most money. The county young farmers collected $4,500 for local food banks and volunteered more than 500 hours in 2013. Fountain County was the top county in pounds of food donated. They work with Food Finders, a program that serves more than 160 hunger relief agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, among others. Overall, Fountain County Young Farmers helped collect and donated 18,000 pounds of food for the Food Finders program in 2013.

Winners of the state’s two collegiate Farm Bureau chapters’ Discussion Meets were also recognized. Vincennes University Discussion Meet winner Brandon Knight, Daviess County, and Purdue University Discussion Meet winner Emmy Kratz, LaPorte County, will compete in Virginia Beach, Va., in February against other collegiate winners from around the country.

Young farmers who recently competed at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in San Antonio received recognition as well.

  • Alan Duttlinger, Tippecanoe County, competed in the Discussion Meet at AFBF.
  • Matt and Kristen Schafer, LaPorte County, competed in the Achievement Award, which recognizes young farmers whose farm management techniques and commitment to their communities set a positive example for everyone involved in production agriculture.
  • Nick and Julie Wenning, Decatur County, competed in the Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes young farmers who do not receive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation that they own.

Three non-profit organizations benefited from the conference. T-shirt and decal sales raised $970 for the Feeding America food bank network. Proceeds from a silent auction contributed $650 to the Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation. A live auction raised $5,096.50 for Kids Against Hunger, which will receive an additional $2,500 from Indiana Farm Bureau. Conference attendees also packed 31,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger.

For more information on programs and conferences sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau, visit or call 1-800-FARM-BUR (327-6287).


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