INDIANAPOLIS — The 2021 Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Conference was held virtually on Saturday, January 30. The conference provided an opportunity for education and networking for INFB members under 40.
Conference programming focused on sessions to motivate and prepare young agriculture professionals for success as their careers develop. Breakout session topics included transportation regulations, mental health, diversifying your operation, niche markets and resumes 101.
Alongside the breakout sessions, several INFB members and county YF&AP programs were honored for their accomplishments in 2020.
Most notably, Jasper County Farm Bureau’s YF&AP program was recognized with the Outstanding County Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Award, given to the top program in the state. Jasper County’s YF&AP program – chaired by Ryan and Marie Hilton – received $1,000 to improve/aid in the creation of a new event.
Many of Jasper County’s YF&AP programs for 2020 had to be adjusted because of the pandemic. Marie Hilton said they did their best to keep members engaged and involved in the community despite COVID-19.
“In a normal year, the Jasper County YF&AP program has three main events – the angel tree project, farm safety and health week and participating at the county fair to raise money for 4-H members,” said Marie Hilton. “Even with COVID, I’m proud to say we were still able accomplish those events – showing people what Farm Bureau does, especially at the local level.”
Fulton and Tippecanoe county Farm Bureaus were runners-up for the award. The YF&AP programs in Fulton and Tippecanoe counties received $500 to improve/aid in the creation of a new event.
Three county YF&AP programs were recognized for their contributions to Feeding America, a nonprofit with a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed over 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and more. Tippecanoe County Farm Bureau donated the most non-perishable food items, Decatur County Farm Bureau donated the most money and Clinton County Farm Bureau donated the most volunteer hours.
In addition, a new state YF&AP chair, vice chair and secretary took office at the conference. Tyler Wilson of Montgomery County will serve as chair for 2021, Rex Daugherty of Lake County will serve as vice chair and Kim Daugherty of Lake County will serve as secretary. The committee also welcomed the following district YF&AP leaders to serve a two-year term:
- District 2: Daniel and Megan Rawles, Whitley County.
- District 4: Jacob and Amanda Baird, Tipton County.
- District 6: Mark and Jessica Wenning, Henry County
- District 8: Brittney and Allen Bedel, Decatur County.
- District 10: Matthew Payne, Floyd County.
For more information on the program, visit INFB’s website.
— Indiana Farm Bureau
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