Mark and Angie Ulness of Valders were selected the 2016 winners of Wisconsin's Outstanding Young Farmer award.
The 63rd annual awards weekend was held Jan. 22-24 in Eau Claire.
Mark and Angie Ulness own Ragnar Holsteins which consists of 75 registered Holstein cows and 94 head of young stock. They also farm 243 acres of which 205 are tillable. During the past 20 years, with Mark leading the breeding decisions, they have been awarded the Holstein Progressive Breeder Registry Award 19 of those years.
They will attend the National Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Program in Greenville, S.C., in February 2017.
The Ulnesses were sponsored by Foremost Farms, CP Feeds LLC and Nutrition Professionals Inc.
Dan and Sarah Diederich of Hobart were the first runners up for the OYF award. Diederich Farm utilizes four robotic milking units on the 360 milk cows and also has 300 head of young stock with 365 acres of tillable land. They were sponsored by Jackson County Bank. They also won the Speak up for Agriculture award.
Ryan and Katie Richert of Lyndon Station were the second runners up. The Richerts own and operate 985 acres of which 848 are tillable and they milk 400 cows and have 400 head of young stock. They were sponsored by the Reedsburg Area Jaycees.
Other finalists in the state OYF event include:
*Dan and Sara Griesbach, Stratford
*Mike and Mindy McGlynn, Cazenovia
*Josh and Jenny Salentine, Luxemburg
Judges were Maria Bendixen, Neillsville, CVTC; Karyn Schauf, Barron, Indianhead Holsteins, State and National OYF Winner; and Katie Wantoch, Dunn County Extension agriculture agent. The awards banquet emcee was Bob Bosold, TV and radio farm broadcaster from Eau Claire.