Jake Carter, a McDonough, Georgia farmer and chairman of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, was recognized as one of the “Champions of Change” for Agriculture by the White House and USDA on Tuesday.

Carter and the other honorees are leaders from across the country who are doing extraordinary things to build a strong foundation for the next generation of farming and ranching, according to the White House.

Other “Champion of Change” winners from the Southeast are Lee Haynes, Nature’s Best Egg Company, Inc. in Cullman, Ala.;  Bill Bridgeforth,  a fourth generation farmer in Tanner, Ala.; and Quint Pottinger, owner of Affinity Farms, New Haven, Kentucky.

Carter operates Southern Belle Farm 30 miles outside of Atlanta. The farm features U-Pick strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and peaches, as well as a fall corn maze and educational school tours. He strives to share the wonderful promise of a career and life in agriculture with others who love the land and want to create a life there.

While at the University of Alabama, Haynes studied business. Upon graduation, he returned to the family egg farm and has held a key management role there since then. He will graduate from the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Leaders for Agriculture two-year program in August.

Bridgeforth is employed by Darden Bridgeforth & Sons, which grows cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, and canola using a variety of cutting-edge agronomic techniques and land conservation practices. He  graduated from Alabama A&M with a degree in Soil Science in 1980 and is active in the university's agricultural initiatives. As chairman of the National Black Growers Council, he advocates on behalf of black farmers in the United States and abroad.

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Pottinger’s Affinity Farms is a mixed row-crop and herb farm. Pottinger pursued his education at the University of Kentucky, majoring in agriculture economics. Upon graduation he connected with various agriculture groups in his state including the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky Corn Growers and Kentucky Soybean Association.

“We’re pleased to count several outstanding farmer and rancher members among the Champions of Change for Agriculture honorees,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “They humbly serve as community and agricultural leaders, inspiring others to develop their own interests in farming and ranching, all while providing food, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world.”

To learn about all of the “Champion of Change” winners , visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions.