Rewarding the Next Generation of Ag
Horizon Farm Credit is hosting the second annual Farmers on the Rise award competition for young, beginning, small, minority, and veteran (YBSMV) farmers. This award program was created to honor outstanding farmer owner-operators within the diverse agricultural community who excel in their field. Selection of winners are based on their efforts in agriculture, financial character, leadership, community involvement, and environmental stewardship.
The 2022 program awarded ten $10,000 awards to the top ten contestants. Keep scrolling to learn who they are!
Michael and Marion Alway of Boyce, Virginia
Kristi and Devin Barto of Landisville, Pennsylvania
Ryan Brown of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Tyler Butts of Hedgesville, West Virginia
Ariel Herrod of Clear Spring, Maryland
Shawn Lawrence of Littlestown, Pennsylvania
Nia Nyamweya of Damascus, Maryland
Josh Smith and Amanda Fabi of Greenwood, Delaware
Robert Todd of Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Renee Wilson of Parkton, Maryland
Applicants must fit into at least one of the following categories:
- between 18 and 35 years of age
- minority operator
- veteran operator
- operate a small farm with annual gross ag income less than $250,000
- or a beginning farmer with at least two years of experience, but no more than 10 years of farming experience
- How will Applications be Judged?
An independent panel of qualified judges will review all of the written applications and select the top 20 finalists moving onto phase two of the judging process.
Each application in phase one will be evaluated based on the following criteria to achieve a score out of 200 possible points:
- Agriculture and Growth: 60 points
- Financial Character: 40 points
- Leadership & Community Involvement: 40 points
- Environmental Stewardship: 40 points
- Spelling and Grammar: 20 points
- Total: 200 points
The applicants selected as the top 20 finalists will receive an invitation to participate in an in-person interview with the judging selection committee to answer questions and give further context to their application.
All interviews will be held in person. Interviews will be no longer than 30 minutes in length and are intended for the applicant to provide additional clarification regarding their application and for the judging committee to ask questions. A formal reception will be hosted to award the winners.
During the interview process, only the named applicant(s) are permitted into the interview room. No guests will be granted access to the interview. No access to audio visual/PowerPoint/Prezi will be supported during the interview process.
Each application in phase two will be evaluated based on the following interview selection criteria:
- Introduction: 20 points
- Ability to explain application and answer interview questions: 60 points
- Professional appearance, overall tone, eye contact, mannerism, and gestures: 20 points
- Total: 100 points
- How to Apply?
Click on the link to the application. Create a SurveyMonkey account and verify email.
Fill out the application form and attach the following required documentation:
- Completed Application
- High resolution photo (.jpg or .png)
- Letter of Recommendation - The letter must include your name, title, address, email, phone number, and not be dated before the date the application opens
Incomplete applications will not be accepted or contacted.
- Required Documents
- Completed Application
- High-Resolution Photo in .jpg or .png
- Letter of Recommendation. The letter must include the contact’s name, title, address, email address, phone number, and relationship to the applicant and must not be dated prior to the date the application opens. Family members, Farm Credit staff, or Farm Credit directors are not eligible to write letters of recommendation.
- Do I need to live in Horizon Farm Credit's territory to be eligible?
Yes. Click here to check your eligibility.
- How do I know if I qualify to apply for the Farmers on the Rise Award?
All applicants must fit into at least one of the following categories: between 18 and 35 years of age, minority operator, veteran operator, operate a small farm with annual gross ag income less than $250,000, or a beginning farmer with at least two years of experience, but no more than 10 years of farming experience.
- How many awards will be presented?
Up to ten $10,000 awards.
- Are the award funds taxable?
Yes, the award money is taxable. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.
- Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
- Who can write me a Letter of Recommendation?
Letters of recommendation should be written on behalf of an applicant by someone who can share perspective on why you are a farmer on the rise. Family members, Farm Credit staff, or Farm Credit directors are not eligible to write letters of recommendation.
- Who should be included in my application photo?
You should attach a professional photo of yourself and co-applicant, if applicable.
- Is there anyone who is not eligible to apply?
Officers, Directors, and employees of the Sponsor, Horizon Farm Credit, and their subsidiaries, affiliates, their agents, press/media representatives, and the immediate family members of these entities. Family means an individual and spouse and anyone having the following relationship to either: parents, spouse, son, daughter, sibling, stepparent, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, and the spouse of the foregoing and/or those living in the same household of each, whether or nor related, are not eligible to enter.
- Who will judge and evaluate my application?
An independent panel of qualified judges will review all applications in both Phase 1 and 2 of the review process.
- What should be included in my essay responses?
All essays should be written in paragraph form, and should not include reference to any applicant or farm name that could potentially identify an applicant to a judge.
- Can I apply as a single applicant? Can I apply as a co-applicant?
Yes, you can apply as a single applicant or you can apply with a business partner. The application should only reflect those efforts of the named applicants.
- Are past winners eligible to apply?
No, past $10,000 winners from 2021 and 2022 are not eligible to apply.