SALT LAKE CITY, January 9, 2007 â€“ Steve and Andrea Johnson of Bowling Green, Fla. have been named runners-up in the American Farm Bureau Achievement Award Competition, placing them among the top five young farmers in the nation. In this report Andrea describes the long road to get to the winners circle. Report (2:00 wma)
They received a Case IH DX compact tractor and a $250 parts-and-service gift certificate, courtesy of Case IH.
â€œWe are proud of Steve and Andrea,â€ said Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick. â€œThis is the first time in recent history that a Florida contestant has risen to this level in this competition. They typify the high quality of our up-and-coming young farmers.â€
The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operationâ€™s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside Farm Bureau.
In October 2006, Steve and Andrea drove away from the Florida Farm Bureau annual meeting in October in a new Dodge Ram quad cab truck, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, as winners in the Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s 2006 Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) competition.
The Johnsons manage 3,232 acres in Hardee and Manatee counties. Johnson Groves and Farm, Inc. includes cattle and citrus with all aspects of the business being handled internally. They also own and operate Johnson Harvesting, Inc., which is not only a fruit brokering firm but also manages harvesting crews for their farms and others.
Steve is an active member of the Hardee County Farm Bureau. He has served as vice president since 2001. He is also on the AgFest and Hardee County Fair committees. Andrea is on the county Women’s Committee and the Ag Literacy Day Committee. At the state level, Steve is on the Florida Farm Bureau’s Labor Advisory Committee and the Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Group while Andrea has served on the YF&R Leadership Group and State Women’s Committee since 2004.
In addition to their aggressive farming operations, Steve and Andrea are new parents. Their son, Bryson James, is 8 months old. Andrea also works as a credit administrator for Farm Credit of Southwest Florida.
John and Jill Mahan of Kentucky won the Achievement Award, and received a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 SLT Quad Cab 4×4 pickup truck with a 5.9 liter Cummins high-output diesel engine, courtesy of Dodge. They also received free registration to the 2007 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference, Feb. 10-13, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Florida Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general-interest agricultural organization with approximately 140,000 member-families, statewide. For more information on the annual meeting, visit http://FloridaFarmBureau.org.