Other finalists in the GFB Young Farmer Achievement Contest were Chris and Marilynn Hopkins of Toombs County and Cody and Lora Lord of Laurens County.

The Hopkins grow cotton, watermelons, peanuts, wheat, corn and pecans.

The Lords grow cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans, hay, peanuts and canola. The two finalist couples received a $250 cash award.

Sara Ervin of Jackson County won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet and will enjoy an expense-paid trip to the AFBF Convention in Hawaii to compete for national honors. Other finalists included Kyle Dekle of Habersham County, Skye Gess of Oconee County and Troy Windham of Laurens County. During the discussion meet, the contestants discussed the role, if any, agriculture should play in addressing health and obesity issues.

Ervin received a $500 cash award, courtesy of Georgia Farm Bureau, and an Arctic Cat 500 all- terrain-vehicle courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. The three finalists each received a $350 cash award from SunTrust Bank.

Other state awards presented included: Outstanding Promotion & Education Award and Outstanding Women’s Leadership Award both received by Cherokee County Farm Bureau; Outstanding Legislative Award received by Newton County Farm Bureau; Outstanding Young Farmer Committee Award received by Madison County Farm Bureau; Outstanding Member Services Award received by Clayton County Farm Bureau and New Farmer Member Award received by Johnson County Farm Bureau.

Phyllis Boyd, Berrien County Farm Bureau office manager, received the organization’s Outstanding Secretary Award. Boyd was recognized for her professionalism and for her work to promote agriculture and Farm Bureau in her local community.

A native of Berrien County, Boyd has been employed with Berrien County Farm Bureau since April 2009. Boyd, who has always lived on a farm, says her involvement with the community and working with farmers to keep them informed of what Farm Bureau offers them through their membership are her favorite aspects of her job. She and her late husband, Martie, have two children, Jennifer and Levi.      

Founded in 1937, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. The organization has 158 county chapters. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.