During the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Orlando, Florida, the Tennessee Young Farmers & Ranchers took home honors in each of the three contests held at the national level – the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture. 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.
Jay Head of Montgomery County was named runner-up in the Achievement contest. He receives a Case IH Farmall 65A tractor and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise. Head farms 5,300 acres near Clarksville in an owner/partnership operation. His major crops are corn, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, hay and indigo. Head also raises more than 200 Angus-cross cows and recently began selling beef on a retail basis. 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.
Hunter Grills of Dyer 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. Grills 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.
Jimmy and Lydia McAlister from Greene County were named to the top ten in the Excellence in Agriculture competition. 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.