Four finalists have been named in the Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer competition, which will culminate with the 65th Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Weekend Jan. 26-28 in Watertown.
The finalists include dairy farmers Justin and Darci Daniels of Hixton in Jackson County; dairy farmer Andy Fisher of Reedsville in Manitowoc County; dairy farmers Justin and Kotti Hintz of Ogdensburg in Waupaca County; and cash crop farmer Mike Prochnow of Menomonie in Dunn County.
The OYF candidates are sponsored to the state event by local agricultural groups and businesses. Sponsors can still contribute to the overall event or a specific candidate.
The public is invited to attend the Saturday evening banquet at the Holiday Inn Express in Watertown. For tickets, contact Harold or Cindy Matton at 715-833-9649 or at email@example.com.
The awards weekend allows the candidates to network on farm and family issues as well as to tour Rosy-Lane Holsteins and Berres Brothers Coffee, both in Watertown. The farmers will also participate in a “Speak Up for Ag” workshop.
The 2018 state OYF winner will be named Saturday evening at the finale banquet. Also recognized will be a runner-up and a “Speak up for Ag” winner, sponsored by The Country Today. The state winner will be nominated to attend the February 2019 national OYF Awards Congress.
The 2017 state winners Sam and Jenn Zimmermann of Ringle were recently named to the top 10 National finalists. The Zimmermanns will attend the national OYF Awards Congress Feb. 14-18 in Sacramento, Calif.
The OYF award is based on 50 percent progress in agricultural career, 25 percent soil and water conservation and 25 percent contributions to community, state or nation. Goals of the OYF program are to foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of farmers’ challenges, as well as the appreciation of their contributions and achievements; to bring about a greater interest in farmers/ranchers; and to help build an urban awareness of the farmers’ importance and impact on America’s economy.
Now in its 65th year, Wisconsin OYF has had 17 national winners. On the national level, OYF is sponsored by John Deere and the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity and supported by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.