County young farmer groups honored for hard work in 2018

Hundreds of INFB young farmers traveled to Indianapolis in January – as they do each and every year – for the Young Farmer Conference.

But 2019’s conference brought one significant change: a brand new name. Now known as the Young Farmers and Ag Professionals, in recognition of the need to be more inclusive of agribusiness professionals, the group took some time to honor county volunteers who made the program so successful in 2018.

For the third year in a row, Spencer County Farm Bureau was recognized as the outstanding county young farmer program, given to the top program in the state. Johnson and Fulton counties were runners-up for this award.

Vanderburgh County Farm Bureau 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 of that county’s young farmer program have improved.

In addition, three county programs were recognized for their contributions to Feeding America, a nonprofit with a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks. Kosciusko County Farm Bureau donated the most non-perishable food items, a total of 4,600 pounds of food, and Whitley County Farm Bureau donated the most money, collecting a total of $300. Tippecanoe County Farm Bureau donated the most volunteer time to Feeding America, with 102 hours donated.

Conference attendees also raised money for the Indiana 4-H Foundation and the FFA Foundation. Attendees voted with their wallets to see which INFB member would receive a “cow” pie in the face. The People’s Choice Award winner was new Young Farmers and Ag Professionals chair, Jake Smoker from LaPorte County. A live auction and other fundraising activities on Saturday raised the total funds donated to $4,343 for the agriculture youth organizations.