Excellence In Ag Finalists Announced

Four individuals have been selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag finalists and will compete in December for the top honor.

The Excellence in Ag award recognizes members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program who excel in their leadership abilities and involvement in agriculture, Farm Bureau and other civic and service organizations.

“We have four outstanding agricultural advocates in this year’s state competition,” said Kevin Krentz, WFBF President. “This contest highlights these individuals and how they have positively impacted both Wisconsin agriculture and Farm Bureau, and inspires others to do the same.”

The four finalists are:

  • Stephanie Abts of Manitowoc County. Stephanie is a dairy nutritionist at Rio Creek Feed Mill, Inc.
  • Julie Sweney of Dodge County. Julie is the director of communications and marketing at FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative in Madison.
  • Julie Wadzinski of Barron CountyJulie is a farm operations instructor at Northwoods Technical College.
  • Kellie Zahn of Shawano CountyKellie is an agriculture agent at the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.

Excellence in Ag award applicants are agriculturists who have not derived a majority of their income from a farm (that they own) for the past three years. Examples of occupations of past finalists include agricultural education instructor, fertilizer salesperson, veterinarian, farm employee, journalist and marketer.

Each finalist must make a presentation and answer questions in front of a three-judge panel during WFBF’s Annual Meeting and YFA Conference at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, December 3-5. This year’s state winner will compete at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2022 Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA.  

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation co-sponsors this contest with GROWMARK Inc. and Rural Mutual Insurance Company. Farm Bureau’s YFA program is open to members between the ages of 18 and 35. Information and applications for all YFA contests can be downloaded from wfbf.com.

Last year’s Excellence in Ag award recipient was Natasha Paris from Green Lake County.