Jacob and Jennifer Walker of DeKalb County are the winners of Indiana Farm Bureau's Young Farmer Achievement Award. The results were announced on Nov. 16 at this year's INFB convention, held in Indianapolis.
The award honors young farmers (age 35 or younger) who earn a majority of their income from their farms. Contestants are judged on their achievements in their farming operation and their commitment to their communities.
Jake Walker came back to the farm full-time in 2008, and the family now raises 4,950 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat. They also custom-bale straw, offer excavating and tiling, and manage a seed dealership. Jennifer is a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
They have two children – 2 ½ year-old Ryan and 1 ½-year-old Leann – who take up most of the time that isn't devoted to farming and the NRCS.
As state Achievement Award winners, the Walkers receive a $6,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance; 250 hours maximum free use of one M-Series tractor (and loader, if appropriate) courtesy of Kubota Tractor; the David L. Leising Memorial Award; and expenses paid to the 2016 national convention, which will be held in Orlando, Florida. There they will compete against young farmers from across the country for the American Farm Bureau Federation's Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award.
The runners up for INFB's Achievement Award are Craig and Mindy Fruechte of Adams County and Matt and Brianna Chapman of Henry County. They will receive $1,000 cash prizes from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.