— Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has announced five semi-finalists for their Grow Your Future Award, a competition for farmer entrepreneurs under the age of 35. Now, the public is being asked to narrow the contestant pool. 

The three finalists with the most votes between Dec. 5 and Dec. 11 will compete for a $7,500 grand prize during a pitch-off at Iowa Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Conference on Jan. 28. Second and third place winners receive $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

The entrepreneurs competing in the public voting include:

  • Jordian Dougherty of Main at Hart in Marshall County who sells pasture-raised chickens, fall pumpkins, gourds, mums and fresh-cut flowers. 
  • Titan Immel of AgHub Genetics in Adair County who operates a seed conditioning facility which helps companies supply farming customers with the best quality grain and cover crop seeds to plant.
  • Annie Palmer of H8R Acres LLC in Warren County who raises purebred Berkshire feeder pigs and Navajo Churro Sheep, which she plans to market to local restaurants. 
  • Tanner Sanness of Reconnected Farms in Allamakee County who every year grows between 5,000 to 8,000 pounds of organic gourmet mushrooms sold at grocery stores, farmers markets and to local restaurants.
  • Matt Vermeersch of Mud Ridge Ranch in Pottawattamie County who raises and sells Scottish Highland cattle with future plans to direct-market beef and also raises goats that target-graze problem vegetation for public and private projects.

“Young agriculturalists are incredibly savvy in putting their unique thumbprint on Iowa agriculture,” says Amanda Van Steenwyk, Iowa Farm Bureau’s farm business development manager. “And as you watch the videos tied to the online voting, you’ll hear they also have big goals. I’m always impressed by not only the diversity of their businesses but the vision they have that will keep Iowa agriculture moving forward.”

To learn more or to vote, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com/growyourfuture