RACINE, Wis. - As part of its commitment to help farmers embrace the everyday challenges and opportunities of agriculture and encourage involvement and leadership within the industry, Case IH awarded brand new Farmall tractors to four American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmer & Rancher 2011 Achievement Awards finalists.
The four finalists, announced at the AFBF annual convention in Atlanta, Ga., were selected based on their demonstrated growth and financial success of their agricultural operations, as well as their Farm Bureau leadership and community involvement. To be eligible, participants had to win their state Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award competition. The finalists include:
- Brent and Susan Leggett, Nashville, N.C.
- Matt and Kim DeBlock, Aledo, Ill.
- Steven and Richelle Bach, Mount Sterling, Ky.
- Brian Flowers, Lynnville, Tenn.
"The AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award recognizes those who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited strong leadership in both Farm Bureau and their communities," said Scott Raber, Case IH Manager of Livestock Marketing. "These four finalists truly demonstrate the kind of leadership that farmers need to meet the daily challenges of an ever-evolving agriculture industry - the same challenges Case IH is committed to meeting - and we're proud to sponsor these leaders."
Achievement Award finalists, Brent and Susan Leggett, farmers from Nashville, N.C., said they appreciate Case IH support of this award and its overall contribution to agriculture. "I think it's tremendous that Case IH supports young farmers and recognizes our importance to the future of agriculture and their businesses," Brent said. "I'm very appreciative of their support and this award."
Brent and Susan are first generation farmers who started their operation in 2005. They raise about 2,300 acres of tobacco, sweet potatoes, soybeans, pickling cucumbers, and cotton. They also started two you-pick strawberry stands and sell certified sweet potato seeds.
The Leggett's local Case IH dealer, Lilley International, Inc. in Williamston, N.C., delivered the Farmall tractor and will provide service and support. "It's an all-around small compact tractor and will be used for many things on the farm," Brent said.
The Leggetts first became involved in Farm Bureau when some friends invited them to a young farmer meeting. From there, they became very involved on both the county and state levels. Brent currently serves on the state commodity advisory committee. "You have to be engaged in order to educate the non-farming members of your community about agriculture," Brent said.
In addition to their Farm Bureau activities, Brent and Susan are actively involved in their community. Brent is vice president and serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Tobacco Growers Association. He is also board chairman for the local fire department and a member of the local Ruritan Club, a community service organization. Susan serves on the Strawberry Growers Association board, the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund board, and the Rocky Mount Farmers Market board. "Brent and Susan, like all of the winners, are exemplary stewards of agriculture. From feeding an expanding global population while meeting strict new emissions requirements, to producing more food on fewer acres while leaving a lighter environmental footprint - agriculture faces many challenges. But, as these four finalists have shown, if we work hard and work together, we can meet those challenges," said Raber.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment - designed to meet today's agricultural challenges. Challenges like feeding an expanding global population on less land, meeting ever-changing government regulations and managing input costs. 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; site-specific farming tools and utility vehicles. Case IH is a brand of CNH (NYSE: CNH), a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (FI.MI).