There are only twelve days remaining for America to help decide the next faces of agriculture. The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has identified nine finalists in its Faces of Farming & Ranching program who all have the passion and desire to share more about how they grow and raise food.
Consumers and other farmers and ranchers around the country are asked to vote online for their favorites to help choose who will be the winners. The winners will represent all farmers and ranchers and help encourage dialogues around food production questions. More importantly, they will help set the record straight about the way our nation is fed.
Visit www.fooddialogues.com to watch a short video of each finalist's farm or ranch. The voting will conclude on December 15. These votes will contribute to the total score and help determine the winners.
The finalists are:
Chris Chinn, Clarence, Mo.: Chris and her husband, Kevin, are fifth generation farmers -- farming with his parents and brother. They operate a diversified farming operation including a 1,500 farrow-to-finish hog operation, 60-head cow calf operation and they grow corn, soybean, and hay for their hogs and cattle. The Chinn family has been very progressive in adopting the newest technologies on their farming operation, yet they remain grounded in their values of animal care and land stewardship.
Will Gilmer, Sulligent, Ala.: Will and his father own and operate a dairy farm in Lamar County, Ala. The dairy has been in continuous operation since Will's grandfather established it on his parents' farm in the early 1950's. They currently milk 200 Holstein cows and raise their own replacement heifers, while managing 600 acres of land used for pasture and forage production. Those forages include hay, summer silage crops, and small grains/ryegrass for both silage and strip grazing.
Daphne Holterman, Watertown, Wis.: Daphne and her husband, Lloyd are fourth generation farmers. Along with their two daughters, they operate a dairy farm and grow corn for silage and alfalfa for hay on 1,300 acres. In 1981, they started farming with Lloyd's parents and milked about 80 cows. Today, they milk more than 800 cows and sell milk (made into cheese) as well as Holstein genetics around the world.