Paige, the border collie

Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year nominations now open

Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2022 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, supported by Purina. This is the fourth year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America.

The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000 in prize money. The winner will be recognized at a Farm Dog of the Year award ceremony at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in January 2022. Up to four regional runners-up* will each win $1,000 in prize money.

“We’re excited to host this popular contest again and provide the general public with another glimpse into daily life on the farm,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farm dogs often play a dual role as both working dogs and companions to farm families, which is especially important because farming and ranching can be stressful, even on the best days.”

Scientific research insights provided by Purina reveal that interacting with pets can provide health benefits. For example, after spending just 20 minutes with a dog, people experienced a significant increase in levels of oxytocin, a hormone that plays a role in moderating stress. This was also associated with a decrease in heart rate and an increase in self-reported sense of well-being. Following the interaction with the dog, people were in a more positive emotional state.

Desired attributes for the Farm Dog of the Year include helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and obedience. The 2022 Farm Dog of the Year will also be featured in a professionally produced video.

Meet 2021 Farm Dog of the Year Bindi.

“For the fourth year in a row, Purina is proud to support the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Dog of the Year contest,” said Jack Scott, VP of sustainability at Purina. “Pets have a positive impact on people’s lives as companions and contributors to farmers’ and ranchers’ operations. The outstanding nominations received help demonstrate that people and pets are better together. We look forward to hearing and seeing many more stories in this year’s contest.”

Eligibility, application deadline

Farm dog owners must be Farm Bureau members to enter their dogs in the competition. Prospective applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can  learn about becoming a member.

Eligibility guidelines and submission requirements are available. Farm Dog of the Year nominations, which include written responses to questions, still photos and a video clip (optional), must be received by July 2, 2021, for consideration.

The Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest is sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

People’s Choice Pup

The second annual social media contest, People’s Choice Pup, was a popular element of the Farm Dog of the Year competition in 2021 – reaching nearly 400,000 people – and will return for 2022. Profiles of the top 10 dogs will be shared beginning in October, with the public invited to vote. Bragging rights and a year’s worth of dog food from Purina will be awarded to the People’s Choice Pup.

*For the purposes of this contest, the regions are as follows: Midwest Region—Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin; Northeast Region—Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia; Southern Region—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia; and Western Region—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

Featured photo: Paige, a Border Collie, follows John Albert’s voice commands and expertly herds the dairy sheep. Albert and his wife, Cindy, operate Ruffwing Farms in Fairfield County.

Photo by Dave Liggett