Ag News

Sunbelt Expo establishes Friends of the Farmer of the Year

by Sunbelt Expo

Posted on May 25, 2023 at 0:00 AM

Since its inception in 1990, the Sunbelt Expo’s Southeastern Farmer of the Year award program has evolved into the most prestigious honor in the Southeast and nation. Through the years, the program has recognized 286 outstanding state farmers for excellence in agriculture.

The goals and objectives for the award are: to reward a commitment to excellence in the agriculture industry; to reward efficiency in farming practices; to reward participation and leadership in community, state and national services; to reward sound management and financial practices; to reward plans for future development and changes; to reward sound environmental practices; and to reward sound marketing and promotional practices.

States that participate in the program include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In the previous 32 years of the award, over $1,284,000 has been awarded to state and overall winners.

Sunbelt is pleased to announce that Massey Ferguson, Harper Family Holdings, the Alabama Farmers Federation, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Florida Farm Bureau, Georgia Farm Bureau, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Mississippi Farm Bureau, North Carolina Farm Bureau, South Carolina Farm Bureau, Tennessee Farm Bureau, and Virginia Farm Bureau have come onboard as sponsors of the 2023 award program. Cooperative sponsors include SE Farm Press/Farm Progress, Hays LTI and Reinke.

 To ensure that the Farmer of the Year program continues into 2024 and thrives beyond that, Sunbelt is launching the Friends of the Farmer of the Year Fund. This program comes with a cost - cost that we believe is worth every penny. As you are led, please contribute to the Friends of the Farmer of the Year Fund as a means to support the program so that we can continue to make it as special for those farmers that will continue to be recognized for their accomplishments in the future. Any donation to the Sunbelt Ag Expo and to the Friends of the Farmer of the Year Fund is tax deductible.

On-farm judging will take place in August and Sunbelt Ag Expo will host the group in October. The Farmer of the Year reception and banquet to honor the state winners will be held in Tifton at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center on Oct. 16. The annual Expo luncheon where the 2023 Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year is named will be held on Oct. 17.

To learn more about the Sunbelt Ag Expo’s Southeastern Farmer of the Year program and the Friends of the Farmer of the Year fund, please visit

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