Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ag Day Mix-and-Mingle Luncheon

Approximately 300 people attended the Ag Day Mix-and-Mingle Luncheon at the Canon Caucus Room on March 19. Attendees listened to Congressman Frank Lucas speak on the importance of American agriculture along with Troy and Bobbie Uglem, North Dakota, the 2012 Outstanding Young Farmer honorees. Also speaking at the luncheon was Dave Schmidt, Alliance to Feed the Future.

The Outstanding Young Farmer program began in the 1940s. The first Outstanding Young Farmer National Congress, held under the sponsorship of John Deere, in 1977, in Bismarck, ND.

From the registrations received each year, the top 25 candidates are reviewed by judges and from that group the top ten are chosen for an expense paid trip to the OYF Awards Congress each year.  These top 10 automatically become members of the OFA Fraternity.  From the top ten – 4 are chosen as National Outstanding Young Farmers. There are 1500 plus members in the OFA fraternity and several hundred of them return each year to attend the Congress and renew friendships from years passed. The OFA Fraternity are incorporated and elect officers who serve 2 year terms. The OFA is a very important part of the OYF Program and the majority of the membership remain successful and influential farmers.

John Deere has been the national sponsor of this program since 1977. Honorees for the Outstanding Young Farmers were: Andrew & Karlie Bowman, IL; Troy & Bobbie Uglem, ND; Joy & Duce Tallamy, NJ; Renee & Brian Schaal, WI.