Contestants from Indiana finished in the top 10 of their respective competitions at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention. Judges for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award placed Meggie and Dallas Foster of Hancock County in the top 10 among farmers and ranchers from across the nation. Deidra Gottbrath of Washington County was among the top 10 by judges for the AFBF YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award.
The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Contestants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.
The Fosters have a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation and raise nearly 1,300 acres of corn and soybeans. Dallas works full-time on their farm, while Meggie is the marketing manager at CountryMark Co-op.
The AFBF YF&R 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. Gottbrath works full time as a stroke clinical operations nurse in Louisville, Kentucky, but she also finds time to farm with her parents, and she recently acquired some farm acreage of her own.
Both Gottbrath and the Fosters qualified for the national contest by first winning at the state level.
Also representing Indiana at the national convention was Liz Stitzel of Clinton County. Stitzel competed in the YF&R Discussion Meet, which 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.