Outstanding Young Farmers at Ag Day

Cindy Zimmerman

Some of the outstanding farmers at Ag Day: Kevin and Jennifer Wolsky, Ida and Joseph DeFrancesco III, Brooke Loisel, Nathan Youngquist, Jessica Niederer

As part of National Ag Day, John Deere welcomed four new inductees to the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA) Fraternity as National Outstanding Young Farmers at the OYF Awards Congress. This year Jessica Niederer spoke on behalf of the inductees. Niederer is an organic grower who sells all of her 57 varieties at farmer’s markets in New Jersey. Selling at farmer’s markets offers her a chance to interact with customers every day– to talk with them and share her own individual story each day.

“We can personally hope that agriculture holds the key to at least a shelter belt of common ground within the divisiveness within our country today,” Niederer says of her experiences. “For 10,000 years agriculture and the business of raising and growing food has been at the base of the way human societies have interacted with their environment and with each other. It’s how our culture really started.”

Growers are in the unique position to make the decisions that shape the way customers view agriculture, Niederer says. We’re under fire all the time, but we can conduct our businesses in a way that gives people a reason to be proud of our work.

The four national winners from the OYF Class of 2016 are: Jessica Niederer, Nathan Youngquist, Joseph DeFrancesco III and Kevin Wolsky.

Listen to Jessica’s acceptance speech here: Jessica Niederer, Outstanding Young Farmer

National Ag Day Photo Album

Ag Day, Audio, Award, John Deere