Morgans, Ropers and Paul claim top prizes in YF&R events
Posted on Jul 26, 2023 at 0:00 AM
By Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau
David and Lindsey Morgan, Cole and Nicole Roper and Andy Paul won statewide honors in the 2023 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) competitive events, held July 12-15 during the YF&R Summer Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island.
The Morgans won the Achievement Award. The Ropers won the Excellence in Agriculture Award. Paul won the Discussion Meet. All three contests are open to GFB members between the ages of 18 and 35.
The Achievement Award recognizes outstanding farmers who make the majority of their income from production agriculture. The Excellence in Agriculture Award honors agriculturalists who earn most of their income from something other than production agriculture. The Discussion Meet has competitors talk about agricultural issues and possible solutions in a committee-style forum. It’s conducted in tournament style, with all contestants going through two preliminary rounds. Then the top 16 compete to see who advances to the final four.
Each state event winner received a John Deere Gator and a free trip to the 2024 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in Salt Lake City in January, where each will compete for national honors.
Farm Credit Associations of Georgia sponsor the Achievement Award. Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance sponsors all the awards. Lasseter Tractor Company helps to sponsor the John Deere Gators for all three contests.
GFB Achievement Award
The Morgans, from Pierce County, run a diversified operation. David is a third-generation farmer who grows cotton and peanuts as well as vegetables and a variety of grains. He also owns timber land and provides land-clearing services. Lindsey teaches social studies at Ware County High School.
The Morgans co-chair the Pierce County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. David has been involved in the YF&R program since 2006 and Lindsey since 2011.
The couple lives in Waycross with their daughters Madison, Blythe and Landyn. They received a John Deere 590M four-seat Gator.
Chris and Paige Little of White County and Luke and Allie Andrews of Lamar County were the other finalist families in the Achievement Award competition. All three finalist families received $500 cash.
The Achievement Award finalists were evaluated by independent contest judges during on-farm visits.
GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award
The Ropers, from Franklin County, raise cattle and grow corn, which they sell in their GFB Certified Farm Market, Cole’s Sweet Corn. Cole works as a broiler supervisor for Fieldale Farms. Nicole is an agriculture teacher at West Oak Middle School in Westminster, South Carolina.
Cole is a Franklin County Farm Bureau (FCFB) director. He serves on the FCFB Scholarship Committee. Nicole serves on the FCFB Farmers Market Committee and is a member of the FCFB Women’s Leadership Committee.
The couple lives in Carnesville and has a daughter, Blakely. They received a John Deere 560E two-seat Gator.
Jay Moon of Morgan County and Addie Tucker of Wilcox County were the other finalists for the Excellence in Agriculture Award. All the finalists received $500 cash.
Moon is a dairy farmer and works as executive director of the
Putnam County Farm Service Agency. Tucker is an agriculture teacher with Wilcox County School.
The GFB Excellence in Agriculture Award finalists gave presentations at the YF&R Summer Leadership Conference.
GFB Discussion Meet
Paul advanced through the GFB Discussion Meet, which puts competitors in groups where they talk about agricultural issues and possible solutions in a committee-style forum.
Paul, of Oglethorpe County, works as a public relations representative for Georgia EMC. He is former state and national FFA president. He and his wife, Jordan, live in Winterville. Paul received a John Deere 560E two-seat Gator.
The other Final Four competitors were Heather Cabe of Franklin County, Rachel Dunaway of Floyd County and Bristol Wells of Wilcox County. All the finalists received $350 cash.