Grow Your Future finalists announced
Five finalists for the 2023 Grow Your Future Award have been announced ahead of voting set to start next week.
Public voting, to be held Dec. 5 to 11, will winnow this group to a top three who will compete for cash prizes in a pitch-off at Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) 2023 Young Farmer Conference in January.
Learn more about the competition, and vote starting next week at https://bit.ly/3XlHljX.
“The Grow Your Future Award is not only a chance for young farmers to compete for funds to support their business, but it also showcases their hard work to a state-wide audience — creating the chance for new customers and additional markets for their products,” said Amanda Van Steenwyk, Iowa Farm Bureau farm business development manager.
The program, now in its fourth year, highlights businesses from Iowa’s young farmers. Participants must be between 18 and 35 years of age.
Contestants are encouraged to promote the voting period to their fans and friends on social media, to gain votes in hopes of landing one of the top three spots.
The 2022 final five are:
• AgHub Genetics of Adair County, a seed conditioning company focused on providing customers the highest seed quality possible. The company currently conditions Enlist E3 soybeans for Stine Seed Company.
• H8r Acres LLC of Warren County, a breeder and seller of Berkshire feeder hogs and Navajo Churro sheep for butchering. Lamb meat is sold to local restaurants and businesses.
• Main at Hart of Marshall County, which offers retail pasture-raised chicken, cut flowers, pumpkins and gourds from its home farm and local retailers.
• Mud Ridge Ranch of Pottawattamie County, a cow/calf operation of Scottish Highland cattle with plans to direct market beef. It also maintains a large goat herd, which provides grazing services throughout southwest Iowa.
• Reconnected Farms of Allamakee County, a mushroom growing operation that produces about 8,000 pounds of organic Lion’s Mane and Oyster mushrooms annually sold to grocery stores, farmers markets and local restaurants.
“The hard work and passion each of the finalists are putting into their operations is very evident. The statewide recognition each of these businesses will receive through the public voting is well deserved,” Van Steenwyk said. “The innovation and quality of applicants we receive, year after year, is impressive.”
The pitch-off will take place during the Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmers Conference in January 2023. Ahead of the pitch-off, Van Steenwyk offers coaching and practice time to finalists.
“We really want to set them up for success,” she said.
The final order of winners will be determined by a combination of judges scores and audience votes at the conference. First prize is $7,500, second place is $5,000 and third prize is $2,500.
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