Life is even more exciting than usual these days for Jennifer Kindig, and her husband, Ryan. The Brook, Indiana couple operate a small grain farm, and also own a trucking company. Jennifer handles dispatching and bookwork for the family business. Based not only on their business performance, but also on community involvement and service, Jennifer was named as Indiana's state Excellence in Ag Winner recently. The award is sponsored by Farm Bureau. The announcement of the state winner came at the Indiana Farm Bureau Convention in Evansville in December.
But the story doesn't end there. Farm Credit Services, Louisville, Ky., provide a John Deere Gator for state winners in the Farm Bureau program in the four states that the financial cooperative serve. The other states include Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
And there's more. Jennifer will compete against state winners from across the country in national competition. That culminates in naming a national winner at the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Antonio, Texas, within the next few days.
…And there's still more! Jennifer also belongs to the Indiana Young Farmers Association. It's a young farmer's educational group sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education, through its vocational division. She was the state winner in the Spokesperson contest for that organization in '08, and competed at the National Young Farmer's Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, also in December.
The Kindigs are active in their local church, and also stay on their toes with four children. Their kids include Ross, Grace, Andrew and Alex.
There will also be impressive awards at the next level of competition in the Farm Bureau contest. Sometimes companies sponsor use of a major piece of machinery, say a tractor, for a set number of hours. If you've ever wondered if those awards really materialize, and what happens afterwards, here's a unique insight.
In '08 Holly and John Spangler, Marietta, Illinois, were national participants in a Farm Bureau competition, and won the use of an International tractor for 150 hours. Holly is an editor for prairie Farmer, Indiana Prairie Farmer's sister publication. Her byline sometimes appears in Indiana Prairie Farmer.
John Deere green most fo the time, the Spanglers were happy to put the Case IH tractor to work, doing fall tillage and running grain augers. The 150 hours mounted quickly.
While recipients have a chance to purchase the tractor, the Spanglers didn't need to purchase another tractor at the time, so they passed. "But it still went to a good home," Holly chuckles. In fact, the new owner, a friend form college days, came and rode with John for a lesson on how to best operate his new purchase before taking it home.
Best of luck to Jennifer and Ryan at the national competition.