Ag News

GFB YF&R winners gearing up for AFBF national competition

by Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Jan 06, 2021 at 0:00 AM

Jacob and Emily Nolan of Wayne County, Dr. Ashley Yopp of Tift County and Melissa Mathis of Monroe County, the winners of the three Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) competitive events, are scheduled to participate in the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) competitive events, which will be held virtually during the AFBF Virtual Convention Jan. 10-13.  

The Nolans won the 2020 YF&R Achievement Award, given to recognize young farmers who derive their earnings primarily from production agriculture. As the state winners, the Nolans receive $500 and a farm sign sponsored by AgSouth Farm Credit and a John Deere ATV with trailer sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. The Nolans operate a diversified farm that includes cotton, peanuts, wheat, corn, cattle, pecans, fruit and timber.

Yopp, an assistant professor of agricultural leadership, education and communications at UGA’s Tifton Campus, won the GFB 2020 YF&R Discussion Meet, which is designed to mimic a committee meeting in which individuals seek solutions to specific issues.  Yopp claimed the top prize of $500 and a John Deere two-seat ATV with trailer, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance.

 Mathis, the Monroe County Farm Bureau vice president, won the competition for the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award, which recognizes ag professionals - who earn most of their income from off-farm jobs – for their Farm Bureau involvement and ag advocacy efforts. Mathis receives a $500 award and a two-seat John Deere ATV with trailer sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. She operates three farm/feed stores and is an active ag advocate in her community. 

The national winners of each AFBF contest will win a new Ford vehicle (up to a value of $35,000). The national second -place winner of each contest receives a Case IH Farmall 50A, courtesy of Case IH. The national third place winner of each contest earns a Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet & top chest and $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH, a $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize, courtesy of American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc. (AFBIS) plus $1,850 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise (PROTO, DeWalt, Stanley, Lenox & Irwin), courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.  The national fourth place winners get a Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet & top chest and a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH.

Meanwhile, AFBF is accepting registration for the 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention and unveiled the lineup of featured speakers including TV personality Mike Rowe, Navy SEAL Commander Rorke Denver and Land ‘O Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford.

For the first time ever, registration fees are being waived to give all Farm Bureau members and anyone interested in agriculture the opportunity to experience one of agriculture’s premier events from the comfort and safety of home.

This open invitation is a rare opportunity to attend the American Farm Bureau convention free of charge simply by registering. Registration will provide access to live sessions as well as special on demand programs focused on hot topics in agriculture. Featured live events include Duvall’s annual address, the Ag Innovation Challenge, Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions, Foundation Night In with special musical performances by Sara Evans and Phil Vassar and workshops focused on what farmers and ranchers need to know in 2021.

View the full agenda at and register for free

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