By Maggie Edwards
Young Farmers claimed victory during contests at the Alabama Farmers Federation Farm & Land Expo Aug. 4-7 in Birmingham. Calhoun and Morgan counties took home wins for Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) and Excellence in Agriculture competitions, respectively, while four Discussion Meet finalists were announced in the contests for 18- to 35-year-old members.
Daniel and Carla Trantham of Calhoun County were named Alabama’s OYFF. The row crop and cattle farmers also run a feed operation, where they sell over 80 tons of feed and grain weekly. The Tranthams are raising five children on the farm — Davis, Sadie, Anna Kate, Sawyer and Callie.
As the OYFF, they receive more than $70,000 in prizes, including $40,000 toward a new Ford truck from Alfa Insurance; a John Deere Gator sponsored by Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit; and a year’s lease on a John Deere tractor, compliments of John Deere, TriGreen and SunSouth.
OYFF runners-up Mitchell and Rebecca Henry of Lawrence County and Brady and Anna Peek of Limestone County received $500 from Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit.
OYFF interviews were held in March, resulting in the finalists. Judges visited all three farms in July to determine the winner. OYFF competitors must have more than 50% of their income subject to production risk.
Excellence in Agriculture champion Josh Melson of Morgan County is an agriscience teacher and will receive a zero-turn Grasshopper lawn mower, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. This competition allows participants, who earn less than 50% of their income on the farm, to showcase the role agriculture plays in their lives and present solutions on agricultural issues. The first runner-up was Josh Williams of Tallapoosa County, with Zack Brannon of Winston County as second runner-up.
In addition, 23 Young Farmers competed in Discussion Meet. Finalists are Landon Marks of Cherokee County, Chapman Bodiford of Limestone County, Garrett Dixon of Lee County and Shelby Windham of Dale County.
Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting where participants discuss solutions to agricultural issues. The Final Four will compete during the Federation’s annual meeting in December. The winner will receive a new four-wheeler, sponsored by First South Farm Credit.
All finalists receive a Blackstone Griddle Package from the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance. Winners will compete during American Farm Bureau Federation contests in January 2023 in Puerto Rico.