(This is the first of a four part series. The remaining finalists will be released next week)
The 16 finalists in Michigan Farm Bureau's (MFB) 2016 Young Farmer awards were announced. Every year the best of the state's young farmers, ages 18-35, face off in one of four contest categories geared toward measuring their agricultural involvement, leadership and achievements.
"Our Young Farmer Awards program honors young farmers across the state for their hard work, advocacy, innovation, and their general excellence in the field of agriculture," said Mark Daniels, chair of MFB's state-level Young Farmer committee. "To be named a finalist in one of the four award categories is to have the distinction of being recognized as a top leader in Michigan Farm Bureau."
2016 Young Farmer Agriculture Achievement Awards Finalists
Craig Boluyt, Newaygo County
Nathan and Amy Engelhard, Tuscola County
Josh First, Ionia County
Ken and Kristen Sparks, Cass County
The Agriculture Achievement Award recognizes a successful young Farm Bureau member or married couple for outstanding achievement in the business of farming and leadership in the agricultural community. Applicants are judged on their farm management ability and involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations.
Craig Boluyt - Newaygo County - District 7
Nathan & Amy Engelhard - Tuscola County - District 6
Josh First - Ionia County - District 4
Ken & Kristen Sparks - Cass County - District 1
Following interviews and judging by a panel of agriculture industry leaders, contest winners will be announced during National Agriculture Week, March 14-18.
Winners of the Achievement and Excellence awards are eligible to compete in national competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation 98th Convention and Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 8-11, 2017.