Thirty-five individuals have been selected as Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 35 Under 35 Award finalists. The award is presented by WFBF’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist program in partnership with Insight FS.
The 35 Under 35 program recognizes the creativity and innovation of young farmers and agriculturists who are preserving agriculture through leadership in environmental, social and economic activities.
In the second year of the program, 45 innovative and deserving YFA members submitted video applications. Applications were evaluated for their involvement in one of five categories – Sustainable Environment, Sustainable Future, Sustainable Self, Sustainable Service and Sustainable Storytelling.
“The YFA Committee is ecstatic to see how many young farmers and agriculturalists were nominated for the 35 Under 35 program,” said WFBF YFA Committee Chair Savannah Brown. “We look forward to recognizing and meeting these deserving individuals in December at the YFA Conference. Congratulations to all the finalists!”
The Sustainable Environment category recognizes individuals who are good stewards of the land and their resources. The finalists in the Sustainable Environment category are Jason Behrend, Wood County; Eldon Henthorne, Vernon County; Ben Sosnovske, Lincoln County; and Scott Timm, Green County.
The Sustainable Future category recognizes individuals who are preserving generational success on the farm. The finalists in the Sustainable Future category are Lindsay Baneck, Jefferson County; Sydney Brooks Howard, Waupaca County; Adam and McKenzie Gruna, Portage County; Josh Huber, Adams County; Jacki Moegenburg, Ozaukee County; Kristin Quist, Polk/Burnett County; Brooke Trustem, Rock County; and Austin Vandertie, Door County.
The Sustainable Self category recognizes individuals that are serving their community through leadership, mentorship and mental health advocacy. The finalists in the Sustainable Self category are Whitney Barnes, Brown County; Andrew Dal Santo, Grant County; Emily Herness Oates, Trempealeau County; Emma Huber, Adams County; Nicole Laack, Sheboygan County; Brittany Olson, Barron County; Leah Weninger, Washington County; and Tess Zettle, Green County.
The Sustainable Service category recognizes individuals who are serving agriculture through trade skills or advisory roles. The finalists in the Sustainable Service category are Alana Biermeier, Juneau County; Erin Elsner, Taylor County; Katie Reineking, Sheboygan County, Julie Sweney, Dodge County; Tammy Wiedenbeck, Grant County; Eric Wuthrich, Green County; Nate Zimdars, Dane County; and Brady Zuck, Rusk County.
The Sustainable Storytelling category recognizes individuals who use their platform to share agriculture’s sustainability successes. The finalists in the Sustainable Storytelling category are Joanna Guza, Brown County; Libby Hafften (Knoebel), Jefferson County; Sarah Hetke, Sauk County; Stephanie Hoff, Dane County; Rachel Klinkner, Monroe County; Teyanna Marx, Dane County; and Heidi Strey, Eau Claire County.
“The 35 Under 35 program has been a success again in 2023,” said Insight FS General Manager Ben Huber. “It is refreshing to see the leadership qualities and sustainability initiatives being driven by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the YFA program, and Insight FS is proud to be a partner again in 2023. Congratulations to all the nominees and finalists; you are the best and brightest our industry has to offer!”
Each finalist will receive an embroidered vest sponsored by Insight FS. The top individual in each category will be announced during the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference in December. The finalists are also invited to attend an exclusive networking reception during the conference.