Excellence in Agriculture contest

At the state and national levels, Farm Bureau offers members ages 18-35 opportunities to be recognized for their achievements. The Excellence in Agriculture contest is designed for an individual or couple who does not have the majority of his/her gross income subject to normal production risk. 

The Young Ag Professionals and Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award competition is designed as an opportunity for young farmers and ranchers to earn recognition, while actively contributing and growing through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Participants will be judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, and participation/involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations (i.e., civic, service and community). 

Competitors must complete the online application form. After the judge’s evaluation, the top three competitors will be invited to participate in a 25-minute presentation to determine the winner. 


The contest is open to Farm Bureau member(s) between the ages of 18 and 35 in good standing with his/her county Farm Bureau. The individual or spouse/spousal-equivalent shall have reached his/her 18th birthday at the time he/she qualifies for the national competition and shall not have reached his/her 36th birthday by the completion of the competition. Competitors qualify at the time the national application is submitted and the completion of the competition is the day awards are given out (Monday, Jan. 27, 2025).

Applicant(s) must be in attendance on-site in Columbus at the Ohio Farm Bureau YAP Winter Leadership Experience, Jan. 26-27, 2024 to compete.

Applicant(s) must not have derived a majority of his/her gross income from an owned production agriculture enterprise in any of the past three years.

Applicant(s) may only compete in one state YAP competition per year.

Past and present members of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and/or their spouses are not eligible to compete.

Retiring members of the Ohio Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee are eligible to apply in the year in which they are retiring.

Members of the Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Trustees are eligible to apply for this award.

Past Ohio YAP Outstanding Young Farmer Award winners and/or previous AFBF Achievement Award competitors are not eligible to compete.

Previous AFBF Excellence in Agriculture Award competitors are not eligible to compete.

Current employees or agents of county, state, and/or the American Farm Bureau organizations and their affiliates are not eligible to compete. An affiliate is defined as an entity owned or controlled in whole or in part by another entity through, for example, ownership (including partial ownership) or positions on the board of directors. Past employees and interns who were responsible for implementing any of the YF&R Competitive Events since Jan. 1, 2018, at the state or national level are ineligible.


Award Winner

  • Expense-paid trip to the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and Kickoff Luncheon in December (four guest tickets included).
  • Expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention as the national competitor. Jan. 24-28, 2025 in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Media package
  • $3,000 cash prize of choice

Award Finalists

  • Expense-paid trip to the Winter Leadership Experience Jan. 26-27, 2024 in Columbus.
  • Embroidered Ohio Farm Bureau Soft Shell Jacket
  • $250 Cash Award

Deadline to apply: Dec. 22, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Online extras

Meet Nick and Bailey Elchinger, the 2023 Excellence in Ag winners

Meet national Excellence in Ag winner Stacie Anderson

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.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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