By Maggie Edwards
Young Farmers claimed victory during contests at the Alabama Farmers Federation Farm & Land Expo Aug. 6 in Birmingham. Calhoun and Morgan counties took home wins for Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) and Excellence in Agriculture competition, respectively, while four Discussion Meet finalists were announced.
The contests are for 18- to 35-year-old members.
Daniel and Carla Trantham of Calhoun County were named Alabama’s OYFF. They are row crop and cattle farmers who run their own 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 winner, they receive more than $70,000 in prizes, including $40,000 toward a new Ford truck, compliments of Alfa Insurance; a John Deere Gator sponsored by Alabama Farm Credit and Alabama Ag 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 top finalists. Judges visited all three farms in July to name the winner.
Excellence in Agriculture winner Josh Melson of Morgan County received a zero-turn Grasshopper lawn mower, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. This competition allows participants 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 to these contests, 23 Young Farmers competed in Discussion Meet. The four 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 received a Blackstone Griddle Package, compliments of the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance. Winners will compete and represent Alabama during American Farm Bureau Federation national competition in Puerto Rico in January 2023.