RACINE, Wis. - There are advantages to being named a national finalist in the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) 2007 Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Awards. "Case IH recently presented us with a new Case IH DX34 Farmall tractor," says Jared Johnson, who owns and operates a cattle ranch in Aurora, Utah, with his wife, Ginger, and daughter, Katelyn.
"We're mostly a grazing operation, so we don't have much equipment," Johnson adds. "This tractor will be great for doing chores. I'd like to put a loader on it, a weed sprayer on the back, and probably a post-hole digger."
The Johnsons' local Case IH dealer, Equipment Center in Richfield, delivered the DX34 Farmall, and will provide service and support for the tractor. In addition, CNH Capital, the financial services organization dedicated to supporting Case IH, presented Jared and Ginger with a $250 gift card, redeemable for parts or service. "That'll go toward the attachments," Johnson says. "I'm sure we'll use that quickly."
The Johnsons graze 370 mother cows and 50 heifers, and they provide summer grazing for 700 head of their customers' cattle. "They've worked hard to minimize costs on their ranch by developing an operation where the cattle do all the harvesting," says Randy Wood, Case IH senior marketing director for tractors and precision farming. "We're thrilled to be a sponsor of the Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Awards, where we get the opportunity to meet innovative young farmers like the Johnsons."
Their ranch also is considered a cooperative wildlife management unit. "This means we work with the state wildlife department and manage our private land to be favorable for a big game habitat," Johnson says. "In turn, we're allowed to sell a certain number of permits for private hunting on our property. In the past, there wasn't much economic incentive to manage for wildlife. But things have changed, and hunting is big business, so managing the ranch for wildlife has become a pretty significant part of our business."
In their spare time, Jared and Ginger are active in their church, the Boy Scouts of America - and Farm Bureau. "I believe it's important to be involved in Farm Bureau so our voice is heard," Johnson says. "Promoting agriculture and working together to ensure a viable future for young farmers is critical.
"I really appreciate Case IH for sponsoring the Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher contest, and helping young people get excited and stay involved in agriculture," he adds. "It makes a world of difference when you have great sponsors who are willing to invest in the Young Farmer and Rancher program - and in the future of agriculture."
Besides the Johnson family, three other finalists in the national AFBF 2007 Achievement Award competition will receive Case IH tractors. They include:
* Steve and Andrea Johnson, Bowling Green, Fla.
* Paul and Christy Fugate, Tazewell, Tenn.
* Alan and Sarah Wuebker, Versailles, Ohio
National finalists were announced at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 88th annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. To be eligible for the national AFBF competition, participants first had to win their state Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award competition.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment - for those who demand more. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of dealers and distributors that operates in over 160 countries. Case IH provides agricultural equipment systems, flexible financial service offerings and parts and service support for professional farmers and commercial operators through a dedicated network of professional dealers and distributors. Productivity enhancing products include tractors; combines and harvesters; hay and forage equipment; tillage tools; planting and seeding systems; sprayers and applicators; and site-specific farming tools.