Fairley and Stedman Take Home Young Farmer and Rancher Awards

Dustin Fairley of Fairbury was selected as the winner of Nebraska Farm Bureau's 2013 Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet, and Stephanie Stedman of Burr was named the recipient of the 2013 Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture award. Both awards were given at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's inaugural fundraiser Dec. 9 in Kearney, Neb., held during Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation's 96th Annual Convention.

Fairley received the top score of four contestants who advanced to the final round of the discussion meet contest. Rather than debating, contestants work to develop a solution to a problem being discussed, building on each other's contributions. Competitors in the annual contest must be prepared to speak on any number of agriculture-related topics; the selected question is announced a short time prior to the contest round.

Fairley farms with his , Amanda, north of Fairbury. They own a custom farming business, which covers drilling, fertilizing, planting and silage harvesting. Dustin and Amanda also help out with his family's 100 cow dairy farm.

Stephanie Stedman was recognized for her ongoing involvement and commitment to agriculture. The Excellence in Agriculture award is designed to recognize young farmers and ranchers for their contribution and involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Candidates for the award are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic, service and community organizations. Stephanie and her husband, Neal, are the fifth generation to live on the family farm in Otoe County.



Candidates for the awards are restricted to Farm Bureau members ages 18-35. Winners of each award receive $500, an iPad, a Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture fleece jacket and an all-expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Antonio, Texas, in January 2014 to compete in the contests at the national level.



The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 56,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska's economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit nefb.org.

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