Young Farm Families honored in statewide contest preliminaries

Published 4:52 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

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On Monday, eight young farm families notched division wins in the Alabama Farmers Federation’s premier contest for agricultural producers. 

Three are also finalists in the Federation’s Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) competition. They’ll compete for nearly $80,000 in prizes this summer.

The OYFF contest is for young farmers ages 18-35 whose primary income is from production agriculture. Contestants completed an in-depth application charting Federation leadership, farm growth and community involvement. 

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An interview followed during Young Farmers Conference in Gulf Shores, with division and finalist announcements Feb. 10 before a packed banquet hall of peers from across the state.

Federation Young Farmers Division Director Hunter McBrayer hailed all OYFF applicants’ work — and work ethic.

“This state is full of incredible young farmers,” McBrayer said. “Applying for the OYFF or any of our contests makes those farmers sit down and track their growth from Year 1 to now. It also helps them set goals for the future. That’s important in agriculture. 

“This specific contest gets our younger, strong leaders even more involved in state-level work, too. It’s exciting to see the depth of talent we have in our pool of members.”

OYFF Division Winners

OYFF division winners will serve a special, advisory role on respective state commodity committees this year. They’ll get an inside look at policy development, checkoff distribution and promotion efforts.

Division winners are: 

  • Beef — Tyler and Koryann Watt, Emelle, Sumter County
  • Catfish — Heath and Christina Clary, Greensboro, Hale County
  • Fruit & Vegetable — Seth and Kaylee Hubert, New Market, Madison County
  • Hay & Forage — Whit and Amanda Lovelady, Alpine, Talladega County
  • Peanut — Garrett and Robin Dixon, Salem, Lee County
  • Poultry — Jacob and Misty Porter, Lineville, Clay County
  • Soybean — Tommy and Lauren Murray, Russellville, Franklin County
  • Wheat & Feed Grain — Drew and Lauren Wendland, Autaugaville, Autauga County

OYFF Finalists

OYFF finalists will welcome a fresh slate of judges to their farms this summer, with the OYFF announced during the Federation’s Farm & Land Expo Aug. 3 in Montgomery.

Those finalists are: 

  • Drew and Lauren Wendland, Autaugaville, Autauga County
    • Also Wheat & Feed Grain Division winner
  • Garrett and Robin Dixon, Salem, Lee County
    • Also Peanut Division winner 
  • Whit and Amanda Lovelady, Alpine, Talladega County
    • Also Hay & Forage Division winner