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For more information, contact: Chris Fenner, 317-692-7844
Courtney Rude, 317-692-7183
Mindy Reef, 317-692-7822, mreef@infarmbureau.org

Jan. 31, 2013

Note to editors, news directors: The release below should be of particular interest to media that cover Clinton, Gibson, Henry, Jasper, Jefferson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marion and Whitley counties.

Young Farmer programs recognized

More than 600 young farmers and ranchers headed to Indianapolis last weekend for the annual Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference.

Clinton 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 Phoenix, Ariz., in February. Jasper and LaPorte counties were runners-up.

Jefferson, Kosciusko and Whitley 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.

Henry 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. Marion County donated the most volunteer hours and the most pounds of food. Marion County young farmers meet with at their food bank monthly for volunteer opportunities. They collected 1,050 pounds of food, and volunteers donated over 112 hours in 2012. Henry County was the top county in dollars donated. They operate a “Hoppers for the Hungry” program where local farmers donated grain to be sold with proceeds given to local food banks. That program collected nearly $13,000.

Winners of the state’s two collegiate Farm Bureau chapters’ Discussion Meets were also recognized. Vincennes University Discussion Meet winner Evan Day, Lawrence County, and Purdue University Discussion Meet winner Cory Harris, Jay County, will compete in Phoenix, Ariz., in February against other collegiate winners from around the country. 

Young farmers who won awards the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting received recognition as well.

  • Julie Thelen, Clinton County, advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the Discussion Meet at AFBF.
  • Orville and Jessica Haney, Kosciusko County, reached the top 10 for 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.
  • Drs. John and Marybeth Feutz, Gibson County, reached the top 10 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.

Two auctions were held to benefit Indiana food banks, bringing a combined $6,586.70.

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