ST. LOUIS – Monsanto’s search for America’s Farmers Mom of the Year is back for a fourth year to acknowledge the contributions of more than a million female farm operators in the United States.
Anyone can nominate their favorite farm mom by visiting AmericasFarmers.com before April 23 and submitting a brief essay explaining how she contributes to her family, farm, community and agriculture. One regional winner will be selected by a panel of judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto for each of the contest’s five regions. Profiles of the regional winners will be posted to AmericasFarmers.com, where online voting will determine the national winner, to be announced on Mother’s Day. Each regional winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize from Monsanto; the national winner will receive an additional $5,000 cash prize.
“The number of female farm operators has grown exponentially over the past decade, and farm moms play a significant role not only on their farms and communities, but also to the American food supply and economy,” says Lisa Safarian, U.S. Row Crops Lead, Monsanto. “The America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest is one small tribute to the amazing women who balance the responsibilities of family, home and farm, often while volunteering or working in their community and promoting agriculture as well.”
Last year the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest received more than 900 nominations from 45 states. From this vast pool of worthy candidates, the judges selected five regional winners as diverse as their farming operations. Online voting on AmericasFarmers.com selected Debbie Lyons-Blythe, a rancher from White City, Kansas, as the national 2012 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year winner. Gov. Sam Brownback hosted a ceremony at Kansas’ Department of Agriculture to honor Lyons-Blythe in front of her family and friends as she was presented with her grand-prize check from Monsanto.
“It’s inspiring to read so many nominations, each cast for a unique and special farm mom,” says Kris Zilliox of the American Agri-Women. “We’re looking forward to 2013 nominations, and will work diligently to select winners who represent American agriculture and the amazing women who support it.”
“If you’ve ever lived in an agricultural community, your life was likely enhanced by a hardworking, humble farm mom,” Safarian said. “This is a great opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to that special woman, just in time for Mother’s Day.”