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Matt Vodraska of Doylestown

YAP award winners announced

The Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals program recently announced award winners for their 2019 contests. Program participants are ages 18 to 35, single or married, who are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.

Matt Vodraska of Doylestown has been named the winner of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Outstanding Young Farmer Award. In addition, Kyle and Ashton Walls of Mt. Vernon have been named winners of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Excellence in Agriculture Award.

The Outstanding Young Farmer contest is designed to help young farmers strengthen their business skills, develop marketing opportunities and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Contestants are judged on the growth of their farm businesses and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.

Vodraska won 250 hours free use of an M-series tractor provided by Kubota, $1,000 in Grainger merchandise sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America and an expense-paid trip to the 2020 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Austin, Texas, in January where he will participate in the national competition.

Vodraska farms with his parents and brother on a diversified specialty fruit operation. He serves as president of the Wayne County Farm Bureau, has helped to shape public policy at the county and state levels and was a member of the inaugural AgriPOWER class in 2009. He also has been active in local and state activities with the Ohio Grape Association, Midwest Apple Improvement Association and Ohio Produce Growers Marketing Association.

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes successful young agricultural

Kyle and Ashton Walls

professionals who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement with Farm Bureau and agriculture. The Walls will receive an expense-paid trip to Austin, Texas, to compete in the national Excellence in Agriculture contest during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in January. They also receive a John Deere Gator courtesy of Farm Credit Mid-America and a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Kyle is a Regional Agricultural and Commercial Business Manager for a mid-size community bank. Ashton is employed with one of the top global agricultural equipment manufacturers. The Walls have built and manage a herd of cow-calf Mexican Corriente cattle, which are primarily used for competitive rodeo events. They also raise laying hens for egg production.

Kyle and Ashton are both active in Farm Bureau at the county, state and national levels: Ashton served for many years as a Knox County Farm Bureau board member and was recently accepted by American Farm Bureau to attend the Women’s Communication Boot Camp in Washington D.C. Kyle has future interest in running for an Ohio Farm Bureau State Board role to serve his district.

Ohio Farm Bureau Young Agricultural Professionals are 18 to 35, single or married, who farm or work in related industries and are interested in improving the business of agriculture, learning new ideas and developing leadership skills.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. To learn more about Ohio Farm Bureau and its Young Ag Professionals program, visit visit experienceyap.com.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

To learn more about Ohio Farm Bureau and its Young Ag Professionals program, visit experienceyap.com.

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