RACINE, Wis. - As part of its commitment to help farmers embrace the everyday challenges and opportunities of agriculture and encourage involvement and leadership within the industry, Case IH awarded brand new Farmall tractors to four American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmer & Rancher 2011 Achievement Awards finalists.
The four finalists, announced at the AFBF annual convention in Atlanta, Ga., were selected based on their demonstrated growth and financial success of their agricultural operations, as well as their Farm Bureau leadership and community involvement. To be eligible, participants had to win their state Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award competition. The finalists include:
- Matt and Kim DeBlock, Aledo, Ill.
- Steven and Richelle Bach, Mount Sterling, Ky.
- Brian Flowers, Lynnville, Tenn.
- Brent and Susan Leggett, Nashville, N.C.
"The AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Achievement Award recognizes those who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited strong leadership in both Farm Bureau and their communities," said Scott Raber, Case IH Manager of Livestock Marketing. "These four finalists truly demonstrate the kind of leadership that farmers need to meet the daily challenges of an ever-evolving agriculture industry - the same challenges Case IH is committed to meeting - and we're proud to sponsor these leaders."
Achievement Award finalists, Matt and Kim DeBlock, farmers from Aledo, Ill., said they appreciate Case IH support of this award and its overall contribution to agriculture. "Case IH has always been strong supporters of agriculture," explained Matt. "I think it's fantastic that they support the AFBF Achievement Award. The agriculture industry has a bright future ahead, especially with backing from companies like Case IH."
Matt is a fourth generation farmer who started his farming career before he graduated from the University of Illinois. Matt and Kim, along with their two daughters, Kaitlynn and Macy, farm 4,500 acres of corn, soybeans, and hay and raise 125 Angus cow/calf pairs in partnership with Matt's dad and brother. In addition to the family farm, Matt runs a commodity brokerage business for local farmers and investors and recently started a commercial trucking business that hauls commodities for local elevators and retailers.
The DeBlock's local Case IH dealer, Birkey's Farm Store in Galesburg, Ill., delivered the Farmall tractor and will provide service and support. Matt said he has a long laundry list of uses for his new tractor. "Considering the cattle we have on the farm and the plot of timber on our land, not to mention all of the attachments you can use with it, we'll get plenty of use from the new tractor," he said.
Matt's family has been involved in Farm Bureau for as long as he can remember, but he first got involved when he was approached to serve on the Mercer County Farm Bureau board of directors, which is a role he still serves today. At the local Farm Bureau level, Matt has participated in the Young Leaders program, the government affairs committee and was a delegate to the Illinois State Annual Meeting for six out of the last ten years. "Farm Bureau has really given farmers and ranchers a huge voice in Washington, D.C. when it comes to ag policy and tax law," explained Matt. "When it comes to farmers' and ranchers' needs wants, desires, or issues-Farm Bureau helps make sure they're heard."
In addition to their Farm Bureau leadership, Matt and Kim are actively involved in their community. Kim serves on the foundation and governing boards for their local hospital and Matt is on the board of directors for their local bank. They are also active members of their church.
"Matt and Kim, like all of the winners, are exemplary stewards of agriculture. From feeding an expanding global population while meeting strict new emissions requirements, to producing more food on fewer acres while leaving a lighter environmental footprint - agriculture faces many challenges. But, as these four finalists have shown, if we work hard and work together, we can meet those challenges," said Raber.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment - designed to meet today's agricultural challenges. Challenges like feeding an expanding global population on less land, meeting ever-changing government regulations and managing input costs. 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; site-specific farming tools and utility vehicles. Case IH is a brand of CNH (NYSE: CNH), a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (FI.MI).