Tennessee Farm Bureau Wins Top National Award

During the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in San Diego, California, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation was recognized with the Pinnacle Award, the highest award a state can earn for program and membership achievement.


Tennessee Farm Bureau received three American Farm Bureau President’s Awards and once again earned Awards of Excellence in all six areas: Education and Outreach; Leadership Development; Member Services; Membership Initiatives; Policy Development and Implementation; and Public Relations and Communications.


The Tennessee Young Farmers & Ranchers took home honors in each of the three contests held at the national level – the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture and Discussion Meet. Young farmers and ranchers from around the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge of and achievement in agriculture, as well as commitment to promoting the agriculture industry.


Mark and Cindy Klepper of Greene County were named runners-up in the Achievement contest. They receive a Case IH Farmall 65A tractor and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise.  The Kleppers farm 1700 acres in Greene County. Their major crops are corn, soybeans and hay. They are contract growers for Koch Foods where they raise more than 920,000 broiler chickens a year. They also have a beef cattle operation where they raise nearly 100 cows. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.


Doug Giles of Williamson County was named a runner-up in the Discussion Meet and receives a Case IH Farmall 55A tractor and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise.  Doug made it all the way to the final four after three rounds of competition and was announced as a runner-up on stage. The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.


Michael and Amy Shirley of Rutherford County were named runners-up in the Excellence in Agriculture competition. They will receive a Case IH Farmall 45A tractor and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise. The Shirleys, in addition to their farm, both have off-the-farm jobs ““ Michael as an Extension agent in the county and Amy as a small-animal veterinarian. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.


Delegates returned home Wednesday following the annual meeting of the voting delegates, who discuss and set policy for the national farm organization. A total of 355 voting delegates, of which Tennessee Farm Bureau had 34, representing every crop and livestock sector in the United States deliberated on policies affecting farmers’ and ranchers’ productivity and profitability. The policies approved at the convention will guide the nation’s largest general farm organization throughout 2015.


                                                                                                                                – 30 –  

For more information contact: Melissa Bratton, Editor, TN Farm Bureau News & Tennessee Home and Farm Magazine (931) 388-7872 ext. 2521, mbratton@tfbf.com