A strong group of 14 young farmers will participate in the 60th Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Weekend Jan. 18-20 in Shawano County at the Menominee Casino Resort. The candidates are:
• Brian and Nicole Barlass of Janesville
• Matt and Tracy Brandel of Lake Mills
• Doug and Allison Custer of Elk Mound
• Hickory and Erin Daniels of Juda
• Matt and Tabitha Hartwig of Athens
• John and Deb Ihm of Lancaster
• David and Stacy Jauquet of Luxemburg
• Rolf and Marieke Penterman of Thorp
• Marty and Lisa Pertzborn of Reedsburg
• Cory and Brook Stenjem of Cambridge
• Nicholas and Danae Stieglitz of Greenwood
• Kurt and Diana Strassburg of Bowler
• Mark and Rachel Turgasen of Richland Center
• Erich and Mia Wollin of Johnson Creek
The OYF candidates are sponsored to the state event by local Jaycee chapters or other agricultural groups; sponsors can still contribute to the overall event or a specific candidate. The public is invited to attend the Saturday banquet. For tickets, contact Harold or Cindy Matton at 715-833-9649.
The Awards Weekend in Shawano County allows the candidates to network on farm and family issues at the two-day event and they will participate in a "Speak up for Ag" workshop. The group will also tour Wisconsin Film and Bag, Shawano; Green Valley Dairy; Adam and Rebecca Kuczer Farm; Nutrition Service Company, Pulaski; and Doc's Harley Davidson and Timeline Saloon.
The 2013 state OYF winner will be named Saturday evening at the finale banquet.
The 2012 state winners, Adam and Rebecca Kuczer of Pulaski, and 2012 state first runners-up, Brian and Stephanie Perkins of Richland Center, were just named to the top 10 finalists. Both couples will attend national OYF Awards Congress Feb. 7-10, in Albuquerque, N.M. The 2011 state winners, Brian and Renee Schaal of Burlington, were named national winners in Arkansas earlier this year.
The OYF award is based on 50% progress in ag career, 25% soil and water conservation and 25% on contributions to community, state or nation. Goals of the OYF program are:
*To foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of farmers' challenges, as well as the appreciation of their contributions and achievements;
*To bring about a greater interest in farmers/ranchers;
*To help build an urban awareness of the farmers' importance and impact on America's economy.
Now in its 60th year, Wisconsin OYF has had 16 national winners.
Source: Wisconsin Jaycees