Evan Hultine from the Bureau County Farm Bureau won the 3rd place finalist as the Illinois Representative for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award. The award competition features young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Competitors are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of the organization. Evan Hultine is the President of the Bureau County Farm Bureau and recently won the Pinnacle Award.
Farm bill 2023 and sustainability efforts remained top of mind as more than 4,000 farmers across the country gathered during the 104th Annual Convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The event, held January 6th – 11th in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was themed “Mi Familia” and brought together 338 voting delegates, including 19 delegates from Illinois to shape AFBF policy. Awards to state and county organizations and members were also given at the annual meeting.
Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders excelled in several of AFBF’s national competitions. Evan Hultine of Bureau County was named 3rd place finalist as the Illinois representative for the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award. The award competition features young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Competitors are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of the organization. Kaylee Heap of Kendall County placed fourth in the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture competition. The competition features young farmers and ranchers who are actively contributing and growing their involvement in Farm Bureau and the agriculture industry, but whose net income doesn’t come from production agriculture.
Heap was appointed in December to AFBF’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. Ryan Reeverts of Ogle County represented Illinois in the AFBF Young Leader Discussion Meet. Seven Illinois county Farm Bureaus are among those selected as winners in the AFBF County Activities of Excellence Program. Bureau, Marshall-Putnam, Stark, Cook, Champaign, Dekalb and McLean County Farm Bureaus’ winning programs were featured during the ag showcase.
County Managers Jill Frueh (Bureau) and Tiffany Moodie (Marshall-Putnam) were on hand to host a booth representing Bureau, Marshall-Putnam and Stark Counties on their Farmer Mental Health Initiative which they work on with Arukah and other local businesses and organizations. IFB received a New Horizon Award in recognition of its County Farm Bureau Certified Director Program. The award, which recognizes new innovative state Farm Bureau programs, stemmed from the IFB’s new “on-demand” program providing additional leadership development for members in key roles. The program combines in-person and online training at an affordable price.
Additionally, IFB received Awards of Excellence for outstanding achievements in all four program areas: advocacy; coalitions and partnerships; engagement and outreach; and leadership and business development.
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 366,043 and a farmer membership of 76,527. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.