Harts, Fleming and Sizemore claim YF&R Competitive event prizes
By Jay Stone
Colt & LeAnna Hart, Brian Fleming and Willie Sizemore emerged as winners of the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) competitive events, held July 13-16 during the YF&R Summer Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island.
The Harts, from Franklin County, won the Achievement Award, given to recognize young farmers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture. Fleming, from Hart County, won the Excellence in Agriculture Award, given to recognize young farmers for off-farm leadership and activities. Sizemore, from Lee County, won the YF&R Discussion Meet.
The event winners advance to national competition during the 2023 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in January.
Colt Hart is a fourth-generation farmer who farms approximately 1,000 acres. He maintains a herd of approximately 600 cattle and raises broilers and goats. He also grows millet, ryegrass, Bermudagrass and wheat while providing a chicken litter service for other farmers. The Hart farm also hosts the Franklin County Championship Rodeo.
Colt is chairman of the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee; and he and LeAnna represent GFB’s 2nd District on the GFB YF&R Committee. Colt serves as a volunteer firefighter. LeAnna homeschools the couple’s children and assists with day-to-day farm operations.
The Harts live in Royston and have five children: Jolee, Briar, Sage, Laila and Trace.
As the Achievement Award winners, the Harts received a John Deere ATV with trailer, $500 cash and a farm sign sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Georgia and Lasseter Tractor.
The other finalist families were Cason and Audrey Anderson of Houston County and Ilana Richards of Morgan County. The runners-up each received $500 cash sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. The Andersons grow pecans and sweet corn, and Cason provides custom hire farm work. Richards grows vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Fleming, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emmanuel College, works as operations manager for PTL Agriculture, the family farm owned by his father, Bobby. The Flemings produce soybeans, wheat, oats, milo and corn on approximately 1,000 acres, along with maintaining a small herd of brood cows and growing hay. Brian also runs a small seed-cleaning operation that serves area farmers.
Brian has chaired the Hart County Farm Bureau YF&R Committee since 2014 and grew the county’s YF&R program from just himself to its current membership of about 35. He served on the GFB YF&R Committee from 2019 to 2021 and regularly visits local schools to teach students about agriculture.
Brian and his wife, Nicole, live in Canon with their two children, Deklyn and Sloane.
As the state winner, Fleming receives the top prize of $500 from Georgia Farm Bureau and a John Deere ATV, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and Lasseter Tractor.
The other finalists were Addie Tucker of Wilcox County and Spencer Highsmith of Coffee County. The runners-up received $500 cash sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. Tucker teaches agriculture at Wilcox County Middle/High School. Highsmith is the young farmer advisor at Coffee High School.
Lee County Farm Bureau member Willie Sizemore won the 2022 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet, held July 14-16 during the GFB YF&R Summer Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island.
As the state winner, Sizemore receives the top prize of $500 from Georgia Farm Bureau and a John Deere ATV, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and Lasseter Tractor. He also advances to compete for national honors in the 2023 American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet.
Sizemore, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2021 with a degree in agricultural communications and journalism, is a student at the Mercer University Law School.
As the state winner, Sizemore receives the top prize of $500 from Georgia Farm Bureau and a John Deere ATV, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and Lasseter Tractor.
The other finalists were Ian Bennett of Cook County, Josh Daniel of Madison County and Whitney Murphy of Bulloch County. The runners-up received $500 cash sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau.
A photo by Whitney Shepherd of Screven County was voted winner of the 2022 Picture Agriculture in Georgia Photo Contest.