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 program will offer up to ten $10,000 awards to the top ten contestants. The application will open on August 22, 2022. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2022

Eligibility

  • 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
  • In order to be eligible, you must reside within Horizon Farm Credit's territory
  • The applicant can apply as an individual or with a business partner.
  • Current and non-Farm Credit customers are eligible to apply. You do not need to be a Farm Credit customer to apply. 
  • Each applicant may only apply for one award per year. Applicants will only be eligible for one competitive event or grant award during a 12 month period of time, and past winners are not eligible to reapply.
  • Officers, Directors, and employees of the sponsor, Horizon Farm Credit, and their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, press/media representatives, and the immediate family members of these entities are not eligible to enter. 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 not related, are not eligible to enter.
  • If you apply as a partnership and are selected as a recipient, the cash prize will be awarded to the primary applicant.

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 exclusively on November 10, 2022, in York, Pennsylvania. 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 on November 10, 2022 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

Deadline: September 30, 2022 at 11:59 pm

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 August 15, 2022.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted or contacted. If you have any questions about this program or application, please email learning@horizonfc.com.

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 August 15, 2022. Family members, Farm Credit staff, or Farm Credit directors are not eligible to write letters of recommendation.

FAQs

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?

Contact Farmers on the Rise Program Administrator, Johanna Rohrer at learning@horizonfc.com or 888.339.3334 ext. 5277.

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 are not eligible to apply.

 

Farmers on the Rise 2021 Award Winners

Meet the 2021 Award Winners!