Yvonne Lesicko

Farm life can be demanding and stressful, and the mental health challenges that come with it is an ongoing problem. Ohio Farm Bureau has been a part of many initiatives to raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma surrounding the issue in rural communities.

Now in its second year, the Yvonne Lesicko Perseverance Prize, the “Y Prize” for short, recognizes groups or individuals working to find innovative solutions to farmer mental health difficulties, including addressing obstacles in accessing resources, lessening stigma around mental health concerns and collaborating among health care, rural medicine and agriculture groups.

“We hope the Y Prize can provide recognition and a ‘thank you’ to groups and individuals working to advance this cause,” said Kelly Burns, executive director of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.

The prize was created by the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund, which was established to recognize the life and career of Yvonne Lesicko, former Ohio Farm Bureau vice president of public policy. Housed within the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund has raised more than $90,000 thanks to the generous support of more than 300 donors.

Recipient recognition

The Y Prize award recipient, whether an individual or a group, will be given a platform to share their work and efforts. As part of the award, Ohio Farm Bureau will feature and recognize the award recipient in publications and social media, at the state annual meeting (Dec. 8-9, 2022) and during the Young Ag Professional Winter Leadership Experience (Jan. 27-28, 2023). All of this is part of the award’s goal of lessening the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

How to apply

Nominations are being accepted through July 31, 2022.

Online extra

Learn more about 2021 recipient Jami Dellifield

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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