FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Nick and Julie Wenning of Decatur County
have been named the winners of Indiana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Excellence in
The award gives recognition to young farmers who do not
derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation they own, but
who are actively contributing and growing through their involvement in Farm
Bureau and agriculture.
The Wennings have a traditional row crop operation with
Nick’s father, brother and aunt, but with a twist: They raise freshwater shrimp.
Nick also owns Wenning Excavating and Drainage, a business
that puts in roughly half a million feet of field tile every year, digs
basements, installs septic systems and builds ponds and erosion control
Julie is a high school math teacher and works part time in
the excavation business. The couple also has three children.
The runners-up are Tom and Jamie Schilmiller of Floyd County
and Chris and Marah Steele of Adams County.
The winner receives a John Deere Gator with an $8,000 cash
value courtesy of Farm Credit Services; a $3,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm
Bureau Insurance; and expenses paid to the 2014 national convention in San
Runners-up receive $1,000 cash prizes from Indiana Farm
Winners in this contest, as well as two other statewide
contests, will advance to the national Young Farmer and Rancher contests, where
they will compete against young farmers from across the country at the American
Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting Jan. 12-15 in San Antonio.