Last week, we introduced you to the runners-up of the 2013 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet competition. This week, we honor the runners-up of the Excellence in Agriculture event. These runner-up winners were awarded a Case IH Farmall® 45A during the AFBF annual meeting in January in Nashville, Tenn.
Excellence in Agriculture Runners-up
Contestants are evaluated on their understanding of agriculture issues, their leadership experiences and their involvement in agriculture. They have to complete an extensive application, and the top 10 must give a 20-minute presentation on their achievements. To be eligible for the award, contestants must not have earned the majority of their income from an owned production-agriculture operation in the past three years.
JARROD AND SARAH BOWSER – HOLTON, KANSAS
Dedicated to being lifelong learners and keeping their skills sharp, Jarrod and Sarah Bowser of Holton, Kan., decided to participate in the Excellence in Agriculture event to share what they are doing in their community. They are hoping that others can take their ideas back to their own areas to see what works best. For example, Jarrod sits on his county’s conservation board and he works closely with Farm Bureau to organize the annual Agriculture and Water Festival for 300 to 400 third- and fourth-grade students.
Jarrod and Sarah were active in their collegiate Farm Bureau at Kansas State University and now operate a cow/calf and row-crop farm with Jarrod’s brother, Nicholas. Being involved in Farm Bureau has allowed them to stay active in agriculture, build relationships and network with other individuals to get the agriculture message out there. Jarrod is involved in the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) program. This program allows a select group of individuals to travel to communities across the state, learning leadership and rural-development skills.
The Bowsers are excited to use the utility tractor and thank Case IH for sponsoring an award that recognizes the importance of agriculture and being involved in the community.
DAVID AND MEGHAN CORVIN – DRESDEN, TENNESSEE
With small-farm backgrounds, David and Meghan Corvin of Dresden, Tenn., knew they wanted to pursue careers in agriculture. After graduating from Virginia Tech, David and Meghan married and moved to Kansas where David worked on a purebred-Angus ranch and Meghan received her master’s degree in animal science and industry from Kansas State University. In 2005, they moved to Tennessee when Meghan was named the head women’s equestrian coach at the University of Tennessee. The Corvins own a small, diversified farm with a cow/calf herd and pumpkins.
David, a technical advisor at Tyson Foods, volunteers at farm and conservation educational events, where he talks with thousands of children about how chickens are raised. Meghan is involved with Girl Scouts and sponsors a therapeutic riding program. In addition to their activities within the community, the Corvins are active within their Farm Bureau and serve as chairmen for their counties. They also sit on the board of directors, attend many conferences and compete in numerous events with YF&R. The Corvins would give back every prize they’ve won to do it all over again because of the wonderful people they’ve met while traveling across the country.
The Farmall 45A will be the perfect tractor for the couple’s pumpkin operation and will be used to work up beds and pull trailers. They thank Case IH for supporting this event. In addition to the tractor they won, the Corvins are looking forward to adding another Case IH tractor to their farm because they appreciate that Case IH is investing in the future of agriculture.
KELBY AND KATHIE IVERSON – HURRICANE, UTAH
Farm Bureau provided Kelby and Kathie Iverson with the educational opportunities and confidence they needed to pursue their dreams. After marrying, they took over Kelby’s family cow/calf operation in the mountainous desert region of Hurricane, Utah. Two years ago they purchased their dream farm, which has horse boarding stalls and a great view. To promote education at their Western Legacy Farm and Ranch, they hold a farm camp every year that allows children to find out what life is like on a farm containing chickens, goats, pigs and feeder steers. For “agritainment,” the Iversons invite families to their Sleepy Hollow Halloween event, complete with hayrides, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, campfires, hot chocolate and opportunities to learn how the Iversons take care of their animals.
Currently serving on the Utah YF&R committee as district chairs, the Iversons enjoy planning events and being involved with all of the other things Farm Bureau does to keep them educated on agriculture issues. They appreciate the proactive nature of how Farm Bureau tells farmers’ stories and educates them about legislative issues.
The Farmall 45A will be put to use cleaning out stalls and baling and moving hay. The Iversons are grateful that Case IH realizes the importance of farmers and ranchers across America and provides this support system.
We congratulate these successful, diligent and confident leaders who exhibited the skills necessary to be a strong voice for agriculture. We are proud to support their dedication to the industry.