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For Immediate Release

Farm Bureau honors young farmers/ranchers

Recognition for farmers and ranchers 18-35

12/1/2011 at 12:00 a.m.


LITTLE ROCK – Jeremy, 31, and Magen Allen, 30, of Bismarck (Hot Spring County) are winners of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 2011 Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award. Farm Bureau honored the couple Dec. 1 at its 77th Annual Convention at the Peabody Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

The Allens run a custom feed/trucking business providing feed mixes to other cattle ranchers, as well as feeding their own herd of longhorn cows that Jeremy is presently breeding to Charolaise bulls.

The Allens won a 2012 Ford F-150 Crew Cab, 4X4 pickup truck courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Company.

Jeremy Allen started his feed-mixing business five years ago when he was looking for a more affordable feed to give his cows, and he found “gin trash” from cotton gins. The trash contained some seeds, hulls and cotton. A nutrition test showed its nutritional value was on a par with or better than hay.

Since then, he’s mixed combinations for his customers that have included ingredients like rice hulls, rice dust, rice bran, soybeans, distillers’ grain, milo, corn, corn gluten, bakers waste and even breakfast cereal. With this year’s drought and resulting hay shortage, the Allens can’t keep up with customer demand for their cattle feed mixes.

“What began as a way to feed our cattle in a more cost-effective way has proved to be the best business venture we have ever dealt with,” Jeremy says.

The runners-up in the competition were C.J. and Cara Parker of Carlisle (Lonoke County), who farm rice, wheat and soybeans; and Scott and Cassie Davis of Prairie Grove (Washington County). Each couple won $1,000.

The Allens have two sons, Lane, 6, and, Brody, 3.

Kevin Smith, 30 of Decatur (Benton County), won the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet. Smith is a poultry farmer and also works installing poultry houses on other farms. The meet provides a forum for young farm leaders to demonstrate their verbal and problem-solving presentation skills while they discuss their views on issues affecting agriculture. There were 17 competitors.

Smith won a Kawasaki Mule and the use of a new front-wheel assist Kubota tractor with a front-end loader for one year.

Honors also went to Brad and Lori Henley of Star City (Lincoln County). The Henley’s won the Excellence in Agriculture award. The award recognizes young farmers involved in agriculture but who get the majority of income off the farm.

Brad, 33, and Lori, 32, own and operate Cedar Hill Farms. The couple purchased their first head of cattle in 2005, and over the next few years, increased their herd to more than 225 head. The couple also operates a small poultry litter-spreading business. What originally started as a hobby has grown into a way of life for the Henley family who work hard to balance their farm and day jobs.

Brad is a journeyman lineman for C&L Electric, and Lori works for Child Development, Inc. at Star City Head Start.

“Sometimes we wonder how we manage to take care of it all, but then we realize it’s because we work together. The farm is a way of life for us,” Brad said.

The Henleys have three children: 14-year-old Hannah, 9-year-old Katie and 8-year-old Grant.

Their prize is a John Deere Gator, courtesy of Western Arkansas Farm Credit, Ag Heritage Farm Credit, Farm Credit Mid-South and Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. They also got a John Deere lawn tractor courtesy of John Deere Inc.

All winners also earned expense-paid trips to the American Farm Bureau Federation national conference in Hawaii next month, where they’ll compete for national awards.

 

Click Photo for High Resolution Version

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Jeremy and Magen Allen of Hot Spring County won the 2011 Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award at Arkansas Farm Bureau's 77th Annual Convention on Dec. 1 in Little Rock, making them the organization's top young farm family. Randy Veach (right), Arkansas Farm Bureau president, presented the award to the couple and their two sons, Lane, 6, and Brody, 3. The Achievement Award recognizes farmers and ranchers, 18 to 35 years old, who demonstrate leadership in farming and their communities. The Allens raise cattle and operate a custom feed and trucking business in Bismarck. For their efforts, they win a 2012 Ford F-150 Crew Cab 4x4 truck and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Honolulu, where they will compete nationally.

 

Click Photo for High Resolution Version

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Kevin Smith of Benton County won the 2011 Young Farmers & Ranchers Discussion Meet at Arkansas Farm Bureau's 77th Annual Convention on Nov. 30 in Little Rock. The Discussion Meet is a competitive event designed to stimulate conversation between participants on pre-determined agricultural topics, judging their ability to formulate conclusions and think extemporaneously. For his efforts, Smith won a Kawasaki 500 Mule and the use of a Kubota tractor for one year. Smith is a poultry farmer in Decatur and installs custom poultry house equipment commercially. Pictured with him is Karie Gibson, a fellow contestant from Craighead County.

 

Click Photo for High Resolution Version

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Brad and Lorie Henley of Lincoln County won the 2011 Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award at Arkansas Farm Bureau's 77th Annual Convention on Dec. 1 in Little Rock. Randy Veach (right), Arkansas Farm Bureau president, presented the award to the couple and their three children Hannah, 14, Katie, 9, and Grant, 8. The Excellence in Agriculture Award was created to recognize Farm Bureau members, 18 to 35 years of age, who are engaged in agricultural activities but derive a majority of their income from non-agricultural sources. Participants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations. The Henleys own and operate Cedar Hills Farms in Lincoln, a ranch with 225 head of cattle. They also run a small poultry litter-spreading business. Off the farm, Brad is a journeyman lineman for C&L Electric, and Lorie works with developmentally disabled children at Star City Head Start. For their achievement, the Henleys won a John Deere Gator utility vehicle, a John Deere riding lawnmower and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Honolulu, where they will compete nationally.

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 210,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

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For more information contact:

Steve Eddington
steve.eddington@arfb.com
(501) 228-1383
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

or

Gregg Patterson
gregg.patterson@arfb.com
(501) 228-1282
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

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