INDIANAPOLIS — Brent and Ashley Reed of Elkhart County have been named finalists in the 2019 Young Farmer Award competition by Indiana Farm Bureau.
The Reeds work on their Nappanee-area farm full-time – handling everything from seed selection to running the combine during harvest – and grow both traditional and organic crops.
“A love for the agriculture industry unites Brent and Ashley Reed,” according to Indiana Farm Bureau. “Both fourth-generation farmers, the two come from varying facets of the agriculture industry. Brent grew up raising soybeans and Polypay sheep. Ashley grew up on a grain and earthworm farm before earning a degree in business administration. With Brent’s family, they raise corn, soybeans and sheep, and manage any of the operations on the farm.”
When the couple is not farming, they express their love of the land through gardening. As active Farm Bureau members, the two have served as county Young Farmers & Ag Professionals co-chairs since 2016.
The Reeds are among six couples across the state honored in two categories – the Excellence in Agriculture Award and the Achievement Award – as a part of the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Award competition.
The Reeds are in the Achievement Award category, which recognizes and rewards outstanding young Farm Bureau members whose farm management techniques and commitment to their communities set a positive example for others involved in production agriculture. Winners must be voting members of Indiana Farm Bureau between the ages of 18 and 35 and earn the majority of their income from production agriculture.
The winners of the Achievement Award receive a $6,000 cash prize, courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance; 250 hours of free use of one M-Series tractor, courtesy of Kubota Tractor Corp.; and an all-expenses paid trip to compete at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in Austin, Texas, in January. The winners also will be awarded the David L. Leising Memorial Award. Runners-up receive a $1,000 cash prize.
Other finalists in this category are Kevin and Kim Burton of Fulton County and Aaron and Lacey Sheller of Hamilton County
The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes outstanding young Farm Bureau members who do not derive the majority of their income from an owned, production-agriculture operation, but who actively contribute and grow their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Winners must be voting members of Indiana Farm Bureau between the ages of 18 and 35.
Winners of the Excellence in Agriculture award receive a John Deere Gator, courtesy of Farm Credit Services; a $3,000 cash prize, courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance; and an all-expenses paid trip to Austin, Texas, to compete at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in January. Runners-up receive a $1,000 cash prize.
The three finalists in this category are Alan Duttlinger of Tippecanoe County, Eric and Megan Scheller of Vanderburgh County, and Michael and Julie Jolliff of Union County.
The winners of both contests will be announced on the Indiana Farm Bureau Facebook page on Aug. 30. All finalists will be recognized at the INFB state convention in December.