Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Katie Pratt Selected "Faces of Farming & Ranching" and
Illinois Farm Bureau thanks everyone who voted for her.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) selected Katie
Pratt (Dixon, IL) as one of the winners of its Faces of
Farming & Ranching program. This nationwide search
helped USFRA identify farmers who are proud of what they do and are
eager to share their stories.
In December, Katie was named a finalist and the public was asked
to vote for the finalist who they believed best represented
American agriculture. Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) members took to
their computers and cast daily votes for Katie.
"We're very proud of Katie and her family," said IFB Young
Leader Manager Jennifer Smith. "She will do a great job of
representing Illinois' bright future for farming. We are also
thankful for everyone who voted for Katie. I believe it's a
victory for everyone involved in Illinois agriculture."
Pratt and three other winners were selected from a pool of more
than 100 applicants from across the country. As one of the Faces of
Farming & Ranching, Pratt will share her stories and
experiences on a national stage to help answer consumers' questions
about how food is grown and raised.
"With the technology that is available today, we can drive
through a field on our tractor and know exactly what's happening on
a square foot of ground versus an entire 80-acre field, which
allows us to focus on what we need to do to make that area better
than it is today," said Katie Pratt. "Fewer people are involved in
farming than ever before, and as a result, we are discovering that
conversations with consumers about farming are needed so that we
understand their concerns, and they understand and are comfortable
with the way food is grown and produced."
Katie and her husband, Andy, are seventh-generation farmers and
raise corn, soybeans and seed corn at Grand Prairie Farms. They
welcome tour groups to their farm as part of a family tradition,
which started back in the early 1970s when Andy's grandfather
hosted students from Chicago-area schools on his dairy farm. They
currently farm in partnership with Andy's family and have two
Pratt talks about her family farm.)
Katie has been actively promoting farming for years. She serves
as the Lee County Agriculture in the Classroom coordinator. Last
year, she was the IFB Young Leader Discussion Meet winner for the
state and runner-up for the nation. She also volunteered as a
spokesperson for Illinois Farm Families, and participated in
USFRA Food Dialogues.
As a Faces of Farming & Ranching winner, Pratt will
receive a $10,000 stipend to help offset the time she will spend
away from the farm in the coming year serving as a USFRA
spokesperson. She will also have the opportunity to direct a
$5,000 donation to an agriculture-related charity.
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