Young Leaders Excel at State Fair


YLwinnersIllinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders brought special meaning to Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair last week.

The finalists for the Young Leader Achievement Award and the Young Leader Excellence in Agriculture Award took the stage at the Commodities Pavilion on Tuesday, August 12 - an appropriate choice, since it was Ag Day. They all came out winners, but taking the top honors for the Achievement Award were Livingston County dairy producers Matt and Jenna Kilgus, and for Excellence in Ag - Kimberly and Caleb May of Christian County. The couples were presented with plaques by Jared Finegan, IFB Young Leader Chairman.

Another exciting competition, also held on Ag day, is the Young Leader Agri-Quiz Bowl. Thirty-six teams competed, but walking away with first place (and bragging rights) was Carroll County Farm Bureau. Kane County Farm Bureau placed second, Fulton County Farm Bureau placed third; and the team from Henry County Farm Bureau came in fourth. 

The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Young Leader program is filled with ag professionals who go the extra mile to achieve success. Each year, IFB recognizes outstanding individuals with these awards.

  • The Young Leader Achievement Award Program selects a winning competitor based on his/her efforts in production agriculture, leadership ability, and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. The ideal candidate(s) for the Achievement Award is an individual or couple involved in production agriculture with a majority of his/her income subject to normal production risks. The IFB Young Leader Committee and the Young Leader Department coordinate the program at the state level.

  • The Young Leader Excellence in Agriculture Award Program is designed as an opportunity for young leaders to earn recognition, while actively contributing and growing through their involvement in their County and the Illinois Farm Bureau, as well as in agriculture. Participants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation/involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations (i.e., civic, service and community).

Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists. It's because of you and your 'extra steps' that the future of agriculture remains bright in so many ways!


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