Swisher International, through its Swisher Sweets cigar brand, and the Sunbelt Expo are sponsoring the Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award for the 18th consecutive year.

Swisher has contributed more than $740,000 in cash awards and other honors since the award was initiated in 1990.

Ten Southeastern state winners have been named as finalists for the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award for 2007, which will be announced during the Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie, Ga., on Tuesday, Oct. 16. They include: Billy Gilley, Alabama; Michael Simon, Arkansas; Bud Adams, Florida; Daniel Johnson, Georgia; Scott Travis, Kentucky; Tom Robertson, Jr., Mississippi; Bill Cameron, Jr., North Carolina; William Johnson, South Carolina; Grant Norwood, Tennessee; and Steve Berryman, Virginia.

Each winner will receive a $2,500 cash award and an expense paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla., a jacket and a $200 gift certificate from the Williamson-Dickie Company, a commemorative fireproof home safe from Misty Morn Safe Co., and a $500 gift certificate from Southern States.

He is also now eligible for the $14,000 that will go to the overall winner and the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America.

All of the finalists’ farms were visited by a distinguished panel of judges in August. The judges for this year include Rogers Reynolds, retired executive with Farm Credit; Jim Butler, retired agricultural engineer and research leader, and Elwyn Deal, retired Clemson University Extension Service.