RACINE, Wis. - There are advantages to being named a national finalist in the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) 2007 Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Awards. "Case IH recently presented us with a new Case IH DX34 Farmall tractor," says Alan Wuebker, who co-owns Wuebker Farms in Versailles, Ohio, with his brother, Jeff.
"This tractor will come in handy for mowing, tilling, spraying - even grading the driveways," Alan adds. "With all the hog buildings, we have close to eight or nine acres that we mow."
The Wuebkers' local Case IH dealer, Apple Farm Services in Covington, delivered the DX34 Farmall, and will provide service and support for the tractor. In addition, CNH Capital, the financial services organization dedicated to supporting Case IH, presented Alan and his wife, Sarah, with a $250 gift card redeemable for parts or service.
"The Wuebker family has been through some rough times, and they emerged stronger and more committed to farming," says Randy Wood, Case IH senior marketing director for tractors and precision farming. "We're thrilled to be a sponsor of the Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Awards, where we get the opportunity to meet exceptional young farmers like the Wuebkers."
After graduating from Versailles High School, Alan joined his father on the farm. "In 1998, when I was 25, my dad passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack," he says. "All of a sudden, I'm 25 years old, in debt, and responsible for the whole farm business." At the same time, Alan's mother was battling cancer. She died two years later in 2000.
"It all fell on me and my brother, Jeff," Alan says. "We became co-owners in 2000. So we're on our own, just when hog prices were hitting record lows. But we got everything turned around. As long as you work hard, and have the help of folks like Farm Bureau and Case IH, you can get through times like that."
Today, Alan and Jeff manage 943 acres of cropland, 1,800 farrow-to-wean sows, 70 dairy steers, a seed dealership and a custom bailing business. Alan's wife, Sarah, is a high school special education teacher who helps out during summers. "She runs for parts, and drives truck when we're picking up bales," Alan says.
In his spare time, Alan serves as a 4-H club advisor to the Grade A Kids (formerly the Darke County Dairy 4-H group). He is a member of the Versailles FFA Alumni, St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Osgood, and the Versailles Knights of Columbus. Alan also has served as a trustee for the Farm Bureau township since 1998, when his father passed away.
Besides the Wuebker family, three other finalists in the national AFBF 2007 Achievement Award competition will receive a CASE IH DX34 Farmall tractor. They include:
* Steve and Andrea Johnson, Bowling Green, Fla.
* Paul and Christy Fugate, Tazewell, Tenn.
* Jared and Ginger Johnson, Aurora, Utah.
National finalists were announced at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 88th annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. To be eligible for the national AFBF competition, participants first had to win their state Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award competition.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment - for those who demand more. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of dealers and distributors that operates in over 160 countries. Case IH provides agricultural equipment systems, flexible financial service offerings and parts and service support for professional farmers and commercial operators through a dedicated network of professional dealers and distributors. Productivity enhancing products include tractors; combines and harvesters; hay and forage equipment; tillage tools; planting and seeding systems; sprayers and applicators; and site-specific farming tools.