Ohio young farmer

The Outstanding Young Farmer award is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

The ideal candidate(s) for this award is an individual or couple involved in production agriculture with a majority of his/her gross income subject to farm and/or ranch risks.

To participate in this award contest, Young Ag Professionals must complete an online application detailing their goals, leadership involvement, farm management strategy, and financial overview of their operation(s). 

Applications are due Dec. 22 at 5 p.m.


Farm Bureau member(s) between the ages of 18 and 35 in good standing with his/her county Farm Bureau are encouraged to apply. 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 YAP Winter Leadership Experience, Jan. 26-27, 2024 to compete.

Applicant(s) must be actively engaged in farming and/or ranching, with the majority of his/her gross income coming from production agriculture. Applicant(s) must have at least three years of financial records showing that the majority of income came from production agriculture.

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 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 Excellence in Ag Award winners and/or previous AFBF Excellence in Ag competitors are not eligible to compete.

Previous AFBF Achievement 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
  • Embroidered Ohio Farm Bureau Soft Shell Jacket
  • $250 Cash Award 

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

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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