Grow Your Future Award finalists

Grow Your Future Award finalists

Ten semifinalists have been selected for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) inaugural Grow Your Future Award.

Six finalists will be chosen through an online vote at Voting closes on Dec. 13, and the six finalists will be announced Dec. 31. 

The finalists will participate in a “pitch-off” during the 2020 IFBF Young Farmer Conference Jan. 31-Feb. 1. The first place winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize; second place will receive $5,000; and third place will receive $2,500.

The 10 semifinalists are:

• Abram Karels of Chickasaw County, who offers young farmer clients an opportunity to provide labor or equipment through his business, A & J Custom Chopping. 

• Jenna Cook of Sac County, who grows specialty cut flowers at Clovergold Flower Farm.

• Mackenzie Felt of Dallas County, who direct markets beef through Felt Family Farms Beef.

• Kelsey Snead of Warren County, who specializes in raising pastured poultry and pork through her business Graze Co. 

• Shelby Smith of Story County, whose business, Gym-N-Eat Crickets LLC, provides alternative protein snacks from farm-raised crickets. 

• Lara Mangialardi of Clayton County, who specializes in raising 100% grass-fed beef while also producing vegetables, herbs, maple syrup, fruit preserves and handmade jewelry on McGreal Family Farm. 

• Heather Moore of Jackson County, who has created an exclusive cheese on Moore Family Farms, a first-generation beef and dairy farm. 

• Lynn Bolin of Butler County, owner of New Day Dairy Guest Barn Bed & Breakfast, a three-bedroom bed and breakfast where guests have a 24/7 view of 150 cows in a robotic milking barn. 

• Cassandra Kubik of Linn County who specializes in growing vintage, heirloom cut flowers on Pine Hill Farm. 

• Monika Owczarski of Polk County, who grows a diverse assortment of produce on Sweet Tooth Farm LLC to offer urban consumers a vibrant array of food choices.