On the first day of the 45th annual Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia, the Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award luncheon was held and the winner announced. The 10 state winners were on hand for the announcement, and this year’s winner was Steve Cobb, from Lake City, Arkansas.
From the Southeast AgNet Radio Network coverage area, the Alabama state winner this year was Darrel Haynes from Cullman County, the Florida state winner was Wade Purvis from Collier County and the Georgia state winner this year was Bart Davis from Doerun, GA.
The Farmer of the Year program has new sponsors in 2023 as 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 joined together to generously sponsor the program.
The state winners received a $2,500 cash award and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from the sponsors. A vest from the Sunbelt Ag Expo was given to each state winner and nominator.
The overall winner received a $15,000 cash prize from the sponsors. Massey Ferguson North America provided each state winner with a gift package and the overall winner the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year or 250 hours (whichever comes first). A jacket from the Sunbelt Ag Expo was also given to the overall winner, plus Hays LTI awarded the overall winner with a HAYS Smoker/Grill. In addition, the overall winner will receive a Henry Repeating Arms American Farmer Tribute Edition rifle from Reinke Irrigation.
The Sunbelt Expo coordinated the Southeastern Farmer of the Year awards this year for the 33rd consecutive year. A total of $1,284,000 in cash awards and other honors have been awarded to 286 southeastern farmers since the award was initiated in 1990.