From the cotton fields in the South Plains of West Texas and broilers and cattle of Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to America's Dairyland in Wisconsin and the broad diversity of pigs, sheep, corn and soybeans in Ohio, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance's (USFRA) next class of Faces of Farming & Ranching capture the passion behind agriculture and drive for sustainability and technology on today's SMART Farm.
Unveiled at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Convention in Kansas City, the winners include Lauren Arbogast of Virginia, Jeremy Brown of Texas, Emily Buck of Ohio, Katie Roth of Wisconsin and Lauren Schwab of Ohio. These incredible farmers will share their personal stories through influential conversations on a national stage with consumers, influencers and end users to help earn consumer trust and confidence in U.S. food and agriculture.
"Agriculture today is driven by technology and an unparalleled commitment to animal care, and this group of exceptional farmers and ranchers are such an accurate portrayal of the entire agricultural community," said Brad Greenway, USFRA Chairman and South Dakota crop and livestock farmer. "With their sustainable practices ranging from no-till and cover crops to pollinator habitat and state-of-the-art animal facilities, I'm proud to have these five represent USFRA and all of agriculture."
Background on the Winners
Lauren Schwab works on her 1200-sow breed-to-wean family pig farm in Butler County, Ohio. As the farrowing house manager, she is a week one specialist to ensure all piglets get off to the best start. Click here to watch Lauren's video.
Lauren Arbogast farms with her husband Brian and two sons on their diverse operation in Rockingham County, Virginia, consisting of five houses of chickens (broilers), a cow/calf herd of 450, a calf backgrounding site of 400, and crop rotations. Click here to watch Lauren's video.
Jeremy Brown farms with his wife Sarah and three children on their 3,000-acre farm on the South Plains of West Texas, growing cotton, organic cotton, wheat, rye, grain sorghum, peanuts and sesame. Click here to watch Jeremy's video.
Emily Buck farms with her husband John and daughter on their 1,000 acres of no-till farmland near Columbus, Ohio in the Lake Erie and the Mississippi River watersheds. They farm corn, soybeans and a flock of 40 Southdown ewes. Click here to watch Emily's video.
Katie Roth and her husband TJ farm with their partners John and Luann Shea in the southwest corner of America's Dairyland in Wisconsin. They milk 260 Holsteins and all of their feedstuffs are grown on the farm including corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat. Click here to watch Katie's video.
As seen in the videos, sustainability is a key component on all these farms. Virginia poultry and cattle farmer Lauren Arbogast highlights, "Sustainability is taken very seriously on our farm - from our nutrient management plan to working with organizations to protect our waterways. We work every day to reduce our impacts on the environment as much as possible."
The public will get to know this group of farmers and ranchers through public appearances, national media interviews, web chats, blog posts, social media activities and more.
For more information on the Faces of Farming & Ranching program and the winners, visit www.fooddialogues.com/farmers-ranchers.