Outstanding Young Farmers
As our nation becomes more removed from production agriculture, farmers need to interact with consumers to educate them about how their food is produced. A program called “National Outstanding Young Farmers of America” recognizes the contributions and achievements of young farmers who are a positive voice for agriculture.
Coordinator Sharon Page says award candidates are from 21-to-40-years old and can be nominated by anyone. However, they must meet certain criteria.
"They have to be stewards of the land, be sustainable and grow in their agricultural business. We’ve had winners with 17 acres to people that have like, 50,000 acres. So, it’s not about how many acres you have, it’s what you do with that," says Page. "Plus, we want them to be community advocates, and we want you to be very conservation-conscious."
Award winners become advocates for agriculture and also receive valuable mentoring.
"It’s recognizing that they’re our future, but also what’s unique about our program is that when they do come to our awards, they build this friendship with all the alumni that come, and they can network together, old and young. We mentor each other," she says. "They’re out next generation but they can learn from the “seasoned” farmers, I call them."
Awards are given to the top ten finalists. Four national winners receive a plaque, a cash award from John Deere, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. during National Ag Week the following year.Learn more about the National Outstanding Young Farmers program