Indiana Young Farmer Winners Announced


deidra-gottbrathIndiana Farm Bureau has filled two of the three Young Farmer winner slots for national competition at the annual meeting of American Farm Bureau in January in Phoenix. The third winner will come from the Discussion Meet contest at the state convention in December in Ft. Wayne.

“Our winner this year in the Excellence in Ag award is Deidra Gottbrath from Washington County,” said Allie Rieth, who coordinates the Indiana Young Farmer programs. “Deidra is part of a growing number of young farmers working in the agriculture community as well as beyond it. She serves her community as a stroke clinical operations nurse but also farms with her parents at home and recently acquired her own acreage. So she’s looking to expand her farming operation.”

dallas-and-meggie-foster-familyThe Achievement Award winners are “Dallas and Meggie Foster from Hancock County. The Fosters have grown their home farm to include 600 sows in their farrow to finish operation and raise almost 1,300 acres of corn and soybeans. Dallas is now able to farm fulltime and Meggie works as a marketing manager for CountryMark Co-op.”

Rieth explains the Discussion Meet contest is a one-of-a-kind competition.

“Instead of earning points by arguing like you would in a debate, contestants are judged on how well they work together to find a solution to a problem,” she said. “So this competition is designed to mimic a committee meeting which is similar to many of the situations young farmers find themselves every day.”

There is still time for qualifying members to register for this December’s Discussion Meet. The deadline is Monday November 14th. We have details at and also there you’ll see the profiles of the other finalists from Excellence in Ag and Achievement Award.

The other Achievement Award finalists were Matthew and Brianna Chapman, Henry County and Neal and Lydia Wolheter, Noble County.

Matthew Chapman manages a diversified grain operation, two swine finishing barns and a commercial trucking operation in Springport. Working alongside his father and brother, the Chapman farm is truly a family business. Brianna owns and operates two retail floral shops.

Farming is in the blood of Neal and Lydia Wolheter. Both came from family farms, and today they farm with Neal’s family. Neal manages day-to-day operations of more than 4,500 acres of corn and soybeans and sells crop insurance. Lydia takes care of bookkeeping for the entire operation and is an independent real estate title closer.

The winners of the Achievement Award receive a $6,000 cash, 250 hours maximum free use of one M-Series tractor, the David L. Leising Memorial Award and an all-expenses paid trip to compete at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting. Runners-up receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Excellence in Agriculture Award finalists included:

Jeremy Barron, Noble County and Jeff Demerly, White County.

Since graduating from college, Jeremy Barron has worked for Cargill Risk Management, currently as financial services lead, helping farmers and ranchers around the world manage price risk. His roles have included traveling to Brazil and seeing how farmers there handle risk. He and his wife have a small grain farm they hope to grow.

Jeff Demerly sells, markets and promotes seed inputs, crop insurance risk management and general profit consulting services to growers near Wolcott, Ind. He works with growers individually by providing seed input and advice on how to maximize profits for every acre.

Winners of the Excellence in Agriculture Award receive a John Deere Gator, a $3,000 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to compete at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting. Two runners-up receive a $1,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.

All finalists will be recognized at the INFB state convention, Dec. 8-10 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne.

Young Farmer participants are Finding their Voices through their Indiana Farm Bureau membership. You can become an Indiana Farm Bureau member by joining online at

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