News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Monday, 19 December 2011 13:06

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Dec. 9, 2011 – More than 1,000 Iowa Farm Bureau Federation members from across the state gathered at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines this week to recognize achievements in agriculture, explore their role in producing food for a hungry world and discuss the 2012 Farm Bill during the organization’s 93rd annual meeting.

A number of farmers were recognized for their accomplishments on their operations and within their communities and industry. Distinguished Service to Agriculture awards were given to central Iowa cattle and grain farmers Bill and Nancy Couser, agricultural engineer Stewart Melvin and recently-retired legislator and farmer Dolores Mertz. (Photos of each award winner can be found at

Young farmers Justin and Jennifer Dammann, who raise cattle, corn, soybeans, alfalfa and rye on their Century Farm near Essex, won the IFBF Young Farmer Achievement Award and were recognized for their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to Farm Bureau and their community. (

Jamie Busch-Upah, a farmer from Tama County, won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet contest. The discussion meet encourages dialogue about issues and challenges that affect agriculture.  It tests young farmers’ knowledge of ag-related issues and their ability to express their opinions. (

The Dammanns and Busch-Upah will compete in these contests at the national level next month during the American Farm Bureau annual meeting.

Keynote speaker Walter Bond, a former NBA player, offered a “slam dunk” presentation; encouraging farmers to reach out beyond their comfort zones to understand their customers and how others perceive them and their work.  “You have success right now, but don’t you dare rest of your laurels. Don’t you dare relax,” he said. “You’ve had a great year, but your job is to get bigger, stronger and faster.”


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