Two Indiana veterinarians are winners of this year’s Excellence in Agriculture Award presented by Indiana Farm Bureau. John and Marybeth Feutz of Gibson County are a husband and wife team who also farm on a small scale. John told HAT this gives them an opportunity to talk about small scale farming which often gets little exposure but has a big impact on rural communities, “There is a lot of agriculture that goes on in America but on small farms, especially in the livestock industry.” The Feutzs operate a 30 head beef cow operation.
As practicing veterinarians, they are also on the front lines of one of the most controversial issues in animal agriculture today: the use of antibiotics. Marybeth says this position allows them to address the issue on two fronts, with farmers and with consumers, “We have a very unique opportunity as farmers and veterinarians. We see the antibiotic issue from both the animal owner side as well as the animal caretaker side.” She added they can talk with farmers about using the proper medications in the approved way and explain to consumers why these drugs are needed and how they are used. John is a partner with his father, James, in Princeton Veterinarian Hospital while Marybeth serves as large animal internal medicine consultant for the practice. Marybeth is also a full-time blogger and runs the site Agricultured.org, which she hopes becomes a “place where people can go and get their food questions answered.”
Both John and Marybeth are heavily involved in Farm Bureau, Marybeth as woman leader for IFB District 9 and John as president of the Gibson County Farm Bureau. The award presentation came during IFB’s annual convention, held Dec. 7 and 8 in Indianapolis. The Feutzes will now represent Indiana in the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award competition, which will be held in conjunction with the AFBF convention January 13-16 in Nashville, TN. The state YFEA winner receives a John Deere Gator valued at $8,000 courtesy of Farm Credit Services; $3,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance; and an expenses paid to the 2013 national convention in Nashville, TN. The two runners-up — Julie Thelen of Clinton County, and Brad and Amanda Briggs of Jennings County — receive $1,000 cash prizes from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/12/Excellancewrap.mp3|titles=Young Hoosier Vets Have Unique Prospective on Agriculture]