Each farmer’s method and background bring individual agricultural success, but collectively they represent the best of the Southeast's diverse farming landscape. Ten farmers will vie for the 2021 Swisher/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award.
The award program started in 1990 and 10 states now participate: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The overall winner is announced during the opening day luncheon at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, which takes place Oct. 19 in Moultrie, Ga., this year. The show and the judges' visits to the farmers were postponed last year due to the pandemic. The 2020 winners were brought back to compete for the 2021 honors. The farmers of the year judging team visited each state winner this summer.
Over the previous three decades, Swisher has awarded $1,204,000 to the state and overall winners. Each state winner receives $2,500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Ag Expo from Swisher. A Columbia vest from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply is given to each state winner and nominator. Syngenta donates $500 to each state winner’s charity of choice and Massey Ferguson North America provides each winner with a gift package.
The overall winner receives an additional $15,000 from Swisher. Other prizes for the overall winner include use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year or up to 250 hours from Massey Ferguson North America, a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply, a Hays LTI Smoker/Grill, and a Henry Repeating Arms American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 rifle from Reinke Irrigation.
Photos and information for this gallery were provided by the Sunbelt Ag Expo.