In February, several members participated in the Young Farmers & Ranchers competitive events. The following members received the top prize in their respective contests and took home $500 and an all-expense paid opportunity to represent Kansas in the national competition. The national competition will take place at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia on January 7-12, 2022. 

Achievement Award

Nick Panek is the state winner of the 2021 Kansas Young Farmer and Rancher of the Year award, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from their farm, demonstrate an ability to manage the operation well and actively engage in Farm Bureau and community leadership. Nick and his wife, Jamie, farm over twenty five hundred acres at their ranch along with raising cattle, horses and run a diversified crop operation. Panek serves on his county board of directors as President and his family was chosen as past farm family of the year. He is also involved in his community as a volunteer firefighter and member of his church. 

Excellence in Agriculture Award

Ashley and Mike Beying are the state winners of the 2021 Excellence in Agriculture award, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income off the farm and are influential advocates for agriculture in their community. Mike and Ashley both come from multi-generational family farms. Mike is a sale agronomist and agricultural advisor at a local cooperative and Ashley is a nurse practitioner for their rural community. Their farming operation includes cattle, swine, specialty crops, vegetables, hay and egg production. They are both involved through their County Farm Bureau as Ashley serves as the President of their board and Mike as the YF&R chairperson of their board. Outside of the farm, they both enjoy giving back to their communities through coaching youth sports for their boys.  

YF&R Discussion Meet

Scott Thellman is the state winner of the 2020 YF&R Discussion Meet, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers for their ability to analyze a topic, think critically about potential solutions and work cooperatively with their peers to find a plausible way forward. Scott is a first-generation farmer and owner of Juniper Hill Farms LLC, a diversified agriculture operation in Douglas County. Thellman has a passion for organic and sustainable agriculture production, food systems and the economics of growing. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Douglas County Farm Bureau and volunteers for various programs and events that the County Farm Bureau hosts for the local community.

National Awards

Nick, Mike, Ashley, and Scott will compete for generous prize packages, thanks to many sponsors of the national competition. The top four in each of the AFBF YF&R competitions will take home the following:

  • Winner
    • A New Ford vehicle (up to a value of $35,000), courtesy of Ford
    • Paid registration to the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference (February 25-28, 2022) in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Second Place
    • Case IH Farmall 50A tractor (value of $27,699) , courtesy of Case IH 
  • Third Place
    • Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest (value of $3,035) and $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH
    • A $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize, courtesy of American Agricultural Insurance Company
    • $1,850 of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker
  • Fourth Place
    • Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest (value of $3,035) and a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH

See the prize package flyer here


2022 Kansas YF&R Competitive Events

Interested in competing for your chance to represent Kansas nationally in 2023 at AFBF Annual Convention in Puerto Rico? Find information about the events, applications and deadlines here.