July 23, 2024

2023 INFB Young Farmers & Ag Professionals Awards announced

Meet the winners

Mark and Jessica Wenning of Henry County (from left), Chelsea O’Brien of Spencer County and Rachel Hyde of Hamilton County are the winners of Indiana Farm Bureau’s top awards for Young Farmers & Ag Professionals this year.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Farm Bureau Announced the winners of three awards for Young Farmers & Ag Professionals.

Rising Star Award

Rachel Hyde of Hamilton County won the Rising Star Award — a new award for 2023. The Rising Star Award honors outstanding members who are active in Farm Bureau, their county and community, Collegiate Farm Bureau and/or YF&AP programs, as well as display personal and professional growth by participating in those activities.

Hyde will receive a $2,000 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Omaha, Nebraska, for the 2024 American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference in March.

“From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, there is rarely a moment that does not involve agriculture,” Hyde said.

“Winning this inaugural Rising Star Award means a ton to me personally. My family has always encouraged me to use my voice and share my agriculture story with others, and this is a great outlet to do just that.”

Excellence In Agriculture Award

Chelsea O’Brien of Spencer County won the Excellence in Agriculture Award, which honors Farm Bureau members who do not derive the majority of their income from a farming operation, but who actively contribute and grow their involvement in Farm Bureau, the agriculture industry and other community organizations.

O’Brien will receive an $11,000 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Salt Lake City to compete at the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention in January.

“I wanted to apply for the Excellence in Ag award to share my story and show the young professionals in the industry some of the unique opportunities that you can have in this career outside of production agriculture,” O’Brien said.

Achievement Award

Mark and Jessica Wenning of Henry County won the Achievement Award, which recognizes INFB members who earn the majority of their income from a farming operation and measures applicants on their leadership involvement and farm management techniques.

The Wennings will receive an $11,000 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City. The Wennings also will be awarded the David L. Leising Memorial Award.

Winners and finalists will be formally recognized during the INFB State Convention in December.

“Farming is definitely a way of life for us,” Jessica said. “The farming operation creates profitability and allows us to live our lives, but the farm is also about teaching our children where our food comes from and feeding America.”

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor