(Indianapolis) – Jan. 31, 2022 – Hoosiers traveled to Indianapolis this past weekend for the annual Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Conference, an opportunity for education and networking for INFB members under the age of 40.
Conference programming focused on sessions to motivate and prepare young agriculture professionals for success as their careers develop. The keynote address was given by Devin Henderson, an award-winning comedian, magician and speaker, and Kiah Twissleman, life coach, speaker and podcaster. Breakout session topics ranged from creating a business entity and ag stats to renewable/alternative energy and rural viability.
Alongside keynote and breakout sessions, several INFB members and county YF&AP programs were honored for their accomplishments in 2021.
Most notably, Kosciusko County Farm Bureau’s YF&AP program was recognized with the Outstanding County Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Award, given to the top program in the state. Kosciusko County Farm Bureau will receive $1,000 to create a new YF&AP program/event or improve an existing program.
Many of Kosciusko County’s YF&AP programs for 2021 took place at their county fair and during the holiday season.
“This year, we organized a children’s pedal pull event at our county fair where kids pedal little tractors for prizes, which got a lot families involved,” said Travis Adams, Kosciusko County YF&AP chair. “We also organized a food donation matching program during the holidays and donated needed winter items, like clothes and boots, to local families in the area.”
“We are honored to win this award,” noted Adams. “We plan to use the winnings to create programs to get even more young farmers involved and help wherever we can in the community.”
Jasper and Whitley county Farm Bureaus were runners-up for the award and will receive $500 each.
Clinton County Farm Bureau was recognized as the Most Improved Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Program this year. This is based on a comparison of activities over the past two years and how the activities and programs of that county’s YF&AP program have improved.
Three county YF&AP programs were recognized for their contributions to Feeding America, a nonprofit with a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people. Jasper County Farm Bureau donated the most non-perishable food items, with a total of 3,500 pounds of food. Jasper County Farm Bureau and Kosciusko County Farm Bureau donated the most money to Feeding America, with $1,000 each. Clinton County Farm Bureau donated the most time to Feeding America, with 100 hours donated.
In addition, a new state YF&AP chair, vice chair and secretary took office at the conference. Allen Bedel of Decatur County will serve as chair for 2022, Mark Wenning of Henry County will serve as vice chair and Jessica Wenning of Henry County will serve as secretary. The committee also welcomed the following district YF&AP leaders to serve a two-year term.
District 1: Katelyn and Kent Burton, Fulton County.
District 3: Hannah and Lyle Burkhalter, Clinton County.
District 5: Allison Hession, Hendricks County.
District 7: Madison and Brooks Weszely, Sullivan County.
District 9: Kyla and Isaac Schroeder, Posey County.
For more information on the program, visit INFB’s website.
About Indiana Farm Bureau: For more than 100 years, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has promoted agriculture in Indiana through public education, member engagement, and by advocating for agricultural and rural needs. As the state’s largest general farm organization, INFB works diligently to ensure a farmer’s right to farm—protecting the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers—because agriculture is vital to Indiana’s economy. Learn more at INFB.org