Orville and Jessica Haney, with the help of 10-month-old Levi, give a tour of their farm’s milking parlor to some local elementary school kids. The Kosciusko County dairy farmers were named winners of Indiana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Achievement Award.
Orville and Jessica Haney, with the help of 10-month-old Levi, give a tour of their farm’s milking parlor to some local elementary school kids. The Kosciusko County dairy farmers were named winners of Indiana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Achievement Award.
WARSAW, Ind. — To honor outstanding young Hoosier producers and their production practices, Indiana Farm Bureau has been awarding its Young Farmer Achievement Award since 1969.

This year, the honor went to dairy farmers Orville and Jessica Haney of Koskiusko County.

Courtney Rude, IFB outreach projects coordinator, noted that the recipient is chosen based on good farm management practices and outstanding involvement with their local Farm Bureau, along with being heavily involved in the community.

She said that the achievement award is similar to IFB’s Excellence in Agriculture Award, but unlike that honor, where the winner is someone who is not heavily involved in farming, this recipient must be a full-time farmer and showcase different techniques on their operation.

Rude noted that the Haneys are sixth-generation dairy farmers that live with their three children — Keith, Claire and Levi — on the Koskiusko-Fulton county line, where they are actively involved in farming, FFA, their local community and the Koskiusko County Farm Bureau.

She mentioned that Orville Haney works on the farm with his father and brother, and they run it as a three-way operation.

Rude said the Haneys were chosen because despite a lot of hardships and setbacks they have suffered on their farm, they have work hard to build it back up and get to where they are today. “Their barns burnt down years ago, and they had to redo it, along with lost land they had to buy back,” she noted.

Rude said that after graduating from Purdue University and returning home, Orville Haney took over and grew the farm back up from what his dad had started and now it truly is thriving.

As the recipients of the award, the Haneys received $6,000 from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, 250 hours of free use of a Kubota tractor and the opportunity to attend the 2013 national Farm Bureau convention Jan. 13-16 in Nashville, Tenn., where they will represent Indiana while competing against winners who won the award in other states.

“This is the biggest honor I have ever received, and we’re proud to represent Indiana,” Orville Haney said.

He noted that he is the sixth generation to raise kids and milk cattle on the family farm. He said his wife and he have been adding and chipping away on the farm since he returned in 2002 to build it back up.

He mentioned that on top of the dairy, he and his family also sell breeder bulls and make a majority of their own feed.

“It’s a family business, and we enjoy what we do,” he said.

Haney noted that he definitely would advise any young person between the ages of 18 and 35 that is involved with agriculture to seriously consider joining IFB’s Young Farmer Program.

He added that their membership has been one of the best decisions his wife and he have made.