Six farm families were named finalists in the Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) preliminary competition during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Young Farmers Leadership Conference, Feb. 23 in Columbus, Ga.
The finalists were chosen from 12 commodity division winners in the contest. They will compete for the title of overall OYFF at the Federation’s 92nd annual meeting in Montgomery, Dec. 5-6.
OYFF finalists are Jim and Jessica Yance of Henry County, Beef; Lance and Stephanie Miller of Blount County, Cotton; John and Jennifer Bitto of Baldwin County, Peanuts; Greg and Michele Edwards of Russell County, Poultry; Stan and Kayla Usery of Limestone County, Soybeans; and Jamie and Wendy Yeager of Dallas County, Wheat and Feed Grains.
Other division winners were Justin Hill of Calhoun County, Bee and Honey; Benjamin Brown of Etowah County, Dairy; James and Rosa Walker of Lauderdale County, Equine; Colin and Kristy Wilson of Jackson County, Hay and Forage; Cody and Cassie Young of Barbour County, Horticulture; and Daniel and Jessica White of Randolph County, Meat Goat & Sheep.
Each division winner received $200 and a plaque.
The OYFF prize package includes a new GM truck valued at $35,000 from Alfa Insurance; lease of a John Deere Tractor from SunSouth, TriGreen Equipment and Snead Ag dealers; a John Deere Gator XUV 825i from Alabama Farm Credit and Alabama Ag Credit and a personal computer package from ValCom Wireless and CCS Technology. The winner will represent Alabama at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2014 annual meeting in San Antonio.
More than 200 young farmers attended the two-day conference and participated in educational workshops and seminars. Keynote speaker David Horsager, who grew up on a farm in Minnesota, spoke on the importance of developing trust with employees and co-workers.
Federation President Jimmy Parnell and his wife, Robin, hosted an informal meet-and-greet session with attendees. The Parnells were Alabama’s OYFF in 1999.
The closing banquet featured a live auction, which raised more than $3,300 for the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation.
For more information on the OYFF contest, or to learn more about the Young Farmers program, visit AlfaYoungFarmers.org or email Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg at JHimburg@alfafarmers.org.