Heather Dineen, a first-generation dryland farmer, who farms just outside of Dallas, secured the most votes in the 2014 America's Farmers Farm Mom of the Year contest to earn the title, contest organizers announced Thursday.
In April, Dineen was selected by the American Agri-Women and Monsanto to be one of five regional winners in the contest. These women were recognized for their commitment to their families, farms, communities and the agriculture industry, and will each receive a $5,000 cash award.
From this pool of regional winners, America then voted to determine who would be given the additional title of national "farm mom of the year." Dineen will receive an additional $5,000 for the honor.
Related: Nominees for 2014 'Farm Mom' Contest
Dineen was nominated by her husband, John Paul, who combined his kids' nominations into one succinct essay. Although she may be relatively new to farming, it was clear throughout her nomination that agriculture has become her passion.
"There have been lots of struggles establishing and maintaining our farm, but Heather always helps us keep going whether she's earning grocery money with a paper route, sewing old clothes into new ones or just helping me fix equipment," says John Paul. "We love farming, and no matter how hard things get, she always makes time to visit schools and share our ag story."
Dineen manages the local Livestock 4-H club, is chairman of the commercial heifer committee, and takes time to educate people about farming. She hosts farm tours, takes students to the state capital, and designs a t-shirt line called, "Heart on My Sleeve," which features trendy designs and ag facts/sayings that are intended to inspire conversations about where food comes from.
After Dineen's young son was killed in a farming accident, she also started a "Farm Safety 4Kids" chapter, teaching safety on the farm as well as ways drivers can keep farmers safe on the roads.
"We are proud to recognize Heather and the rest of our amazing 2014 regional farm mom winners for their significant efforts and dedication to their families, communities and the industry," says Kris Zilliox of American Agri-Women. "As you can see, they truly represent what being a farm mom is all about, and we're looking forward to hearing more from them throughout the year."
To learn more about Dineen, her fellow 2014 regional Mom of the Year winners or winners from years past, visit www.americasfarmers.com.
Source: Monsanto/American Agri-Women