The Sidebottoms have three adult children. Their son Stacy became a partner in the farming operation after graduating from high school. He’s on the Green County Agricultural Development Council and is first vice-president of the Green County Farm Bureau.

Their daughter Anna works for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture as a marketing specialist. She coordinates the ginseng trade for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Their daughter Laura is a middle school science teacher who also coaches girls’ sports teams.

Mike Tobin, director of the Commodity Division at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, is the state coordinator of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year.

Sidebottom was nominated for the award by Larry Clark, president of the Green County Farm Bureau. Clark admires Sidebottom’s overall knowledge of agriculture and his vision for the future of the industry for both Green County and the entire state.

As the Kentucky state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo award, Sidebottom will now receive a $2,500 cash award and an expense paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla., a $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative, and the choice of either $1,000 in PhytoGen cottonseed, or a $500 donation to a designated charity on behalf of our newest sponsor, Dow Agrosciences.

He is now eligible for the $15,000 that will go to the overall winner. Other prizes for the overall winner include the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America, another $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative, and the choice of either another $1,000 in PhytoGen cottonseed, or a second $500 donation to a designated charity on behalf of our newest sponsor, Dow Agrosciences.

Swisher International, through its Swisher Sweets cigar brand, and the Sunbelt Expo are sponsoring the Southeastern Farmer of the Year awards for the 23rd consecutive year. Swisher has contributed some $884,000 in cash awards and other honors to southeastern farmers since the award was initiated in 1990.

Kentucky farmers became eligible to compete for the award in 2006. Previous state winners from Kentucky include Sam Moore of Morgantown in 2006, Scott Travis of Cox’s Creek in 2007, Loretta Lyons of Tompkinsville in 2008, Doug Langley of Shelbyville in 2009 and Joe Nichols of Cadiz in 2010. Kentucky did not have a state winner in the award last year.

A distinguished panel of judges will visit the Sidebottom farm, along with the farms of the other nine state finalists, during the week of Aug. 5-10.

The judges for this year include Charles Snipes, a retired Mississippi Extension weed scientist who is president and research scientist with Stoneville R&D, Inc., from Greenville, Miss.; John McKissick, a longtime University of Georgia Extension ag economist from Athens, Ga.; and farmer Brian Kirksey of Amity, Ark., who was selected as the overall winner in 2008.