“I set a goal with my ag teacher during my freshman year to be the Star Farmer,” Tanner Mickey said. “Last night, I achieved that goal, so all my years of hard work paid off.”
Mickey lives and works on his family farm and has both grain and livestock projects.
“My freshman year, I started small with five acres each of corn, beans and wheat,” said the son of Jon and Carla Mickey. “I grew from there, utilizing equipment from my family’s operation that I trade for work.”
This year, the Star Farmer rented some higher quality ground and grew 120 acres of corn, 110 acres of beans and seven acres of wheat.
“This not really wheat country, but it works well for my cattle rotation,” he explained.
For his livestock projects, Mickey started with seven registered Angus cows, and this year his herd totals 20 cows and one herd bull.
“My main focus is selling bulls and bred heifers throughout the Midwest,” he said. “My selection emphasis is on EPDs, as well as visual traits like structure, rib and body.”
Each spring, Mickey purchases lambs and pigs that he raises throughout the summer to compete at livestock shows.
“Last year, I went to eight or nine shows,” he said.
Mickey will continue his passion for livestock judging this fall when he attends Lake Land College on a judging team scholarship.
“After two years, I plan to transfer to as four-year university somewhere in the Midwest,” he added.
After their team won the livestock judging contest at the National Western Show, Mickey, as well as Eric Schafer, won a trip to travel to Europe last summer.
“We were there two weeks, so we toured lots of farms and we got to see how they do things,” the Star Farmer said. “We made a lot of great memories, and it was a very good learning experience.”