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INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 400 young farmers traveled to Indianapolis for the annual Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference.

Spencer County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer program was recognized with the Outstanding County award for the top program in the state. The Young Farmer committee chairman and a guest will receive an expenses-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Fusion Conference in Pittsburgh in mid-February. Jasper and Lake counties were runners-up.

Lake County was recognized as the most improved Young Farmer Program. The award is based on a comparison of activities of the past three years and how the activities and programs have improved in that county young farmer program.

Hancock, Madison, Vanderburgh and Vermillion counties received the Awakening Award. The Awakening Award was started in 1998 as a part of the outstanding county program to recognize county Young Farmer programs that are new or have not applied for the contest in the last three years.

Three counties were recognized for their contributions to the Feeding America program. Henry County donated the most money, collecting $13,953. Kosciusko County was the top county in pounds of food donated. The county donated 800 pounds of food during the program year. Most hours donated went to Bartholomew County. Young farmers there offered 736 hours of their time.

Conference attendees also raised money for charity. Through Canstruction, a contest where young farmers built structures from canned goods, 5,000 cans of food and $936.66 were donated to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. Live auction activities on Saturday brought an additional $3,980 for Gleaners.

For more information on programs and conferences sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau, visit www.infb.org or call 1-800-FARM-BUR (327-6287).

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