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 DX34 Farmall tractor," says Paul Fugate of Tazewell, Tenn. Paul, along with his wife, Christy - and their children, Isaac, William and Hannah - own and operate a farm that has been in the Fugate family for more than 200 years.
Paul picked up the DX34 from his local Case IH dealership, West Hills Tractor in Jonesborough, and hauled it straight to a district Farm Bureau meeting, "Where folks could 'ooh' and 'ahh' over it," he laughs. West Hills Tractor will provide service and support for the tractor.
In addition, CNH Capital, the financial services organization dedicated to supporting Case IH, presented Paul and Christy with a $250 gift card redeemable for parts or service. "I've already used that to replace parts I wore out on another tractor," he adds.
In his spare time, Paul is a member of Farm Bureau, and serves as a deacon in the Little Mulberry Baptist Church in Tazewell. "Both Paul and Christy are very active in their church and their community," 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 exceptional young farmers like the Fugates."
Paul credits Christy for their success. "She's the motivating force behind keeping me involved in things other than agriculture, including Farm Bureau. She's the power behind what passes for a throne."
As for Farm Bureau, Paul says, "I hope farmers recognize that it's the largest farmer advocacy group in the world. Their efforts to ensure the stability and success of agriculture are legendary.
"By sponsoring Farm Bureau's Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher program, Case IH is putting their money where their mouth is - showing people their commitment to the future of agriculture in this country, and setting a pretty strong example," he adds. "It makes people who own red machines proud, and we need to show our appreciation."
Besides the Fugate family, three other finalists in the national Farm Bureau Achievement Award competition received a Case IH tractor. They include:
* Steve and Andrea Johnson, Bowling Green, Fla.
* Alan and Sarah Wuebker, Versailles, Ohio
* Jared and Ginger Johnson, Aurora, Utah
National winners were announced at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 88th annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. To be eligible for the national award, 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.