Henry: Saluting the new Indiana Farm Family of the Year

On stage at the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention in Fort Wayne, the Wenning family of Decatur County is celebrated as the Indiana Farm Family of the Year. Pictured (from left) are Kelsey Nesbit, 2;  Kendal Nesbit, 5; Henry Wenning, 5; and Josie Wenning, 9, in front with Lisa Nesbit, Marita Field, Roger Wenning, Mary Beth Wenning, Julie Wenning and Nick Wenning in back.

When AgriNews and Beck's Hybrids decided more than two decades ago to establish the Indiana Farm Family of the Year award, with support initially from the state Department of Agriculture and now from Indiana Farm Bureau, we had big dreams, but couldn't imagine just how special this celebration would become.

As family-owned agricultural businesses, AgriNews and Beck's believe in the importance of farm families, and we want to spotlight their significant contributions both on and off the farm — in agriculture and in their communities — while thanking one special family, in particular.

It is our honor to present the award to recognize the 22nd Indiana Farm Family of the Year.

I’m sure many Hoosier farmers already know this family very well from the family members’ work with Farm Bureau, including the Young Farmer Committee, as well as the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Joining us on the INFB State Convention stage are Roger and Mary Beth Wenning; son Nick Wenning with his wife, Julie, and their children, Josie and Henry; daughter Lisa Nesbit and her children, Kendal and Kelsey; and Roger’s sister, Marita Field.

The family farms more than 600 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in Decatur County. Their operation is 100 percent no-till and cover cropped.

They have diversified the farm with feeder calves, cover crop seed sales and an excavation and drainage business.

For the past decade, the Wennings have hosted soil health field days on their farm, drawing upwards of 100 attendees each time.

They are passionate about soil health outreach and education and have traveled across the country to speak about no-till, cover crops and other conservation measures.

And the Wennings practice what they preach. From testing their soils to applying the correct amount of nutrients, taking care of the land is a priority.

We also are touched by their care for each other, especially as they mourn the loss of grandson Travis, who in September lost his battle to cancer at just 6 years old.

This is a family filled with love for God, love for each other and love for agriculture.

Please join us in saluting that love and recognizing the Wenning family as the new Indiana Farm Family of the Year.

Executive Editor James Henry can be reached at 815-223-2558, ext. 190, or jhenry@agrinews-pubs.com.

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