Friday the finalists were announced for the annual America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest, and this year an Indiana farm mom has made the list along with the chance to win the ultimate National Farm Mom of the Year designation from Monsanto and American Agri-Women. Amy Kelsay is from Franklin and was completely shocked to hear the news.
“I did not know I had even been nominated,” she told HAT. “I was aware of the program but had no idea I was nominated, and since then I have learned some of the people in on that, which included my own family. I was just completely shocked they pulled that one over on mom!”
She added it is quite an honor and last week was “a whirlwind of a week” in St. Louis. “I had a chance to meet the other 4 finalists and they’re all amazing people. Truthfully I’m just so humbled and so honored to be a part of this group.”
Amy, husband Joe (left) and his family operate Kelsay Farms which includes a corn and soybean operation and a 500 cow dairy. They provide dairy tours and many other activities as a way of telling the story of what happens on the farm and the importance of the nutrition that comes from the dairy. Now Amy has another platform, and a large one, to tell the American agriculture story.
“Every day I get to share what we do here at our farm. We host students and field trips out to our place and get to kind of open their eyes to dairy farming, but I absolutely think that this is another way that we can promote our industry, not only agriculture but specifically the dairy industry and really showcase what we do and what these cows do every day.”
She stays busy with Kelsay Farms and raising a family, and being a Mom of the Year finalist will bring travel and appearances. Kelsay says she will make time for what they have in store for her.
“I will certainly welcome that and make time for all the fun things that we have ahead of us.”
Each regional winner will receive a $5,000 award. Hoosiers can begin voting online now for Kelsay or one of the other regional winners. The woman who receives the most votes from now until May 5 will be named the “National Farm Mom of the Year” just in time for Mother’s Day. As a bonus, she will receive an additional $5,000 prize.
Their biographical information and original nomination is currently posted online at AmericasFarmers.com, where visitors can click to vote for their favorite farm mom based on the judging criteria provided in the contest rules.
The 2015 regional winners of the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest are:
- Northeast Region: Amy Kelsay (Franklin, Ind.)
- Northwest Region: Shelly Davis (Albany, Ore.)
- Southwest Region: Shelley Heinrich (Lubbock, Texas)
- Midwest Region: Sara Ross (Minden, Iowa)
- Southeast Region: Megan Seibel (Roanoke, Va.)
From Monsanto news release:
“Every year we receive such heartfelt nominations about people’s favorite Farm Mom,” says Tracy Mueller, corporate brand manager for Monsanto. “But this year, we’ve especially been overwhelmed by the number and quality of the entries we received. These women have different backgrounds and ways they contribute, but one thing was always clear – their strength, perseverance and dedication to their families, farms, communities and the industry they love.”
According to one of Amy Kelsay’s nominations, if you looked in the dictionary under the listing “extraordinary farm mom,” you’d find her photo. She and her family milk a 500-cow dairy, and she has involved her family in every aspect of both running and marketing the family farm, whether it’s feeding baby calves or answering questions about the milking machines.
Nine years ago she started Farm Tours, a business that brings nearly 20,000 people each year to the dairy to learn about the realities of agriculture and the importance of dairy in their diet. Visitors can sample milkshakes, ride the MooChoo Express, and wind their way through a corn maze as the farm becomes the hub of the very best of agri-tourism. If someone can’t make it to the farm, she has a blog — “Two Maids a Milking.”
Her husband Joe says she is the motivation, example and mentor for their three children and she says her number one job is to be “Mom” to the three of them, shuttling them from place to place, finding ways for each of them to improve themselves academically, spiritually, socially and professionally. She has a passion for youth, serving on the Scholarship board for the County Community foundation, as 4-H leader (of the club she started), regularly teaches Sunday school, and volunteers in the children’s classrooms. She also serves on the Agri-Institute board, an agricultural leadership program for Indiana professionals.
“It was such an honor to read about all of the amazing farm moms and learn about all they do for their families and communities,” says Donnell Scott, of American Agri-Women. “AAW is pleased to be a part of this recognition program.”
For a list of winners, past or present winner profiles or official contest rules, visit
AmericasFarmers.com. Interested parties may also send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, Attn: Sue Dillon, 349 Marshall Ave., Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63119.