Daily Reporter staff reports
HANCOCK COUNTY — A local farm family has been selected to receive one of Indiana Farm Bureau’s top awards for young farmers.
Dallas and Meggie Foster of Hancock County won the INFB Young Farmer Achievement Award, which recognizes young farmers who earn the majority of their income from their farms.
Dallas and Meggie Foster 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; Meggie is the marketing manager at CountryMark Co-op.
The Fosters will now represent Indiana in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement and Excellence in Agriculture competitions. They will be competing against young farmers and ranchers from across the country at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting, to be conducted Jan. 8 to 10 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Two distinguished panels of judges evaluated participants. Young Farmer Achievement Award candidates were judged on their leadership abilities and on what they have achieved with their farms.
Some of the judges were previous Young Farmer award winners, and others came from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, Hoosier Ag Today, The Farmer’s Exchange, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the National FFA Organization, according to a press release.
“I’ve enjoyed the Young Farmers judging experience this year, including the valuable time spent with the other judges,” said Andy Eubank of Hoosier Ag Today in a press release.
“But it all started with the written applications which offered many diverse agricultural backgrounds and perspectives by the applicants. We had quite a number of outstanding entries and it was impressive to see their involvement in (agriculture), Farm Bureau and their communities. It’s always good when the quality of applications makes ours a difficult decision, and it was!”
For winning the INFB Achievement Award, the Fosters will receive $6,000 cash, 250 hours maximum free use of one M-Series tractor and the David L. Leising Memorial Award.
Both winners and finalists will be recognized at the INFB state convention, Dec. 8 to 10 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne.