Young Farmer Program


Young Farmers The Young Farmer program brings together young farmers from across the state of Iowa. Our young farmer members (age 18 - 35) farm on a full or part-time basis, work in the agriculture industry or just want to become more involved in agriculture. The program provides leadership and participation opportunities to encourage young members to build a stronger network and become active in the organization and the agricultural community.

Through the Young Farmer program, those with a passion for agriculture have a chance to acquire cutting edge information through participation in educational conferences, earn recognition for their achievements and continue their professional development and personal growth.

Save the Date! – 2025 Young Farmer Conference

January 17-18, 2025 at Iowa Events Center - Downtown Des Moines

This conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and peers, make new connections, network, and learn from professionals in the agriculture industry – while still having a bit of fun too! You’ll have an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technologies, new ag opportunities, sustainability practices and financial management techniques to help you grow and succeed on your farms through a variety of breakout sessions.

Registration opens December 2, 2024 through your local County Farm Bureau.

Grow Your Future Award

Iowa Farm Bureau’s Grow Your Future award started with a singular mission to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of young farmers and encourage the development and growth of ag-related endeavors.

If you’re a young Iowa entrepreneur with an innovative ag-related business – this award is for you. Apply for a chance to win a cash prize up to $10,000. Applications are due by September 1, 2024.


Congratulations to the 2024 winners!
First Place - Ashley Wenke of Pleasant Grove Homestead (Poweshiek County)
Second Place – Ethan & Carly Zierke of Sweet Season Farm (Winneshiek County)
Third Place - Bobbi Jo Berg of Recipes from French Creek (Allamakee County)

2022 winners (Clark Dolch, Adair County; Melissa Moretz, Worth County; Tanner Brass, Franklin County)
2023 Winners - Josh Bierbaum of Cass County, Matthew Burt of Marshall County, Ryan Gibbs of Delaware County

YF Leadership Award (Honoring Bob Joslin)

This award is an opportunity for young farmers who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture to earn recognition. County Farm Bureaus nominate deserving young leaders, and participants are judged on leadership experience and involvement within Farm Bureau, their community, and other agriculture organizations.

More information on the 2025 award will be available in December. 2025 award nominations will be due April 11.


The three winners will each receive:
- A $2,000 grant to local organization of winner’s choice
- Expense paid trip to 2025 AFBF Annual Convention or YF&R Conference
- Expense paid trip to 2025 IFBF Young Farmer Conference
- $1500 cash from GROWMARK
- $500 gift certificate from Grainger
- Video highlighting winner’s leadership and involvement

2024 Winners:
James Hepp, Calhoun County
Kaitlyn Porter, Franklin County
Nate Hofmann, Linn County

Three winners of the Young Farmer Leadership Award will be honored at the Iowa Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Des Moines December 10-11, 2024.

2023 Winner - Sarah Tweeten, Cerro Gordo County

Discussion Meet

The Discussion Meet helps young farmers build discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important ag issues, and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach a consensus and solve problems. Individuals compete on a panel of three to six people in a free-wheeling style, as if they were sitting around the kitchen table discussing a problem. They exchange ideas and information to solve the problem. Each contestant is judged on cooperative attitude, problem solving & implementation, delivery, and analysis of the topic.
Congratulations to the 2023 Discussion Meet Final Four:
 First Place - Sarah Tweeten, Cerro Gordo County
 Second Place - Larissa Schippers, Mahaska County
 Third Place - Molly Dolch, Adair County
 Fourth Place - Coltin Schachtner, Pocahontas County
The 2024 Discussion Meet competition (sponsored by Growmark and Grainger) took place at the 2024 Young Farmer Conference, February 2-3, 2024. 
 Congratulations to the 2024 Discussion Meet Semi-Finalists:

Randy Francois, Buchanan County
Kyle Larsen, Humboldt County
Jarret Horn, Jasper County
Larissa Schippers, Mahaska County
Joy Van Wyngarden, Mahaska County
Dani Rehder, O’Brien County
Coltin Schachtner, Pocahontas County
Sierra Hagedon, Tama County

Lauren Britton, Boone County
Amanda Hoefler, Dubuque County

 Finalists receive coaching throughout the year to prepare for the final rounds held during the Iowa Farm Bureau Annual Meeting December 10-11, 2024 in Des Moines. Prizes are awarded to the top four state finishers. The winner will advance to the national Young Farmer Discussion Meet at the 2025 American Farm Bureau annual meeting in San Antonio.

Young Farmer Advisory Committee

Contact your district representative for more information on Young Farmer activities in your area.

2023-2024 Officers:
Chair: Vanessa Trampel, Hancock County
Vice-Chair: Kody Trampel, Hancock County
Secretary: Alyssa Preston, Warren County
Public Relations Co-Chairs:  Megan McAllister, Dubuque County & Ashley McEnany, Story County


Contact Info:

To learn more about Young Farmer programs and activities, contact Leadership Training Manager Molly Shanahan.