Cast your vote to help decide who will be the winner of this year’s grand prize.
Thanks to everyone who entered the 2022 #RootedinAg contest. Our panel of judges has selected the top three entries. Now we need your help to determine who will be the grand prizewinner of a $500 gift card plus a $1,000 donation to a favorite local charity or civic group*. Check out the finalists’ entries below and vote for the one you think is most deserving. Online voting ends Oct. 14, 2022, with Syngenta announcing the grand prizewinner in November.
Cindy Berner-Schlichte’s agricultural roots run deep. From a young age she followed her father around their farm, and visited farm auctions with her grandfather. Today, Berner-Schlichte proudly works and lives on her family’s 7th generation farm.
From a very young age I followed my dad around on the farm. In those days we milked, raise crops and hogs. My grandfather babysat me a lot and he took me to farm auctions. Around 4th grade we switched to beef cattle and I used horses to move them from one field to another. Spending a lot of time with my dad and granddad I learned about my great grandfather homesteading here. Unfortunately my dad died at 52. I was determined to save our land. I later married an auctioneer farmer and we took over the cattle. We showed all over USA and in Canada. But loss hit again.. my husband passed at 50. It wasn’t easy but I've still been able to buy out my brother's half who never liked the farm. It has been in our family 7 generations now as my daughters and their families live here too...so my grandchildren are the 7th generation. We have 3 homes. I take pride in that and I still love this land as much today as when I was a child. I became a certified cattle judge and have judged at Iowa state Fair, Houston livestock show, and Tulsa State Fair. I just put the original land in a LLC and in a trust as well as additional land we bought so it will continue hopefully more generations. I've been a widow 16 years now and I have no intentions of leaving our land until God calls me home.
Halee’s roots and love for agriculture can be credited to her father and mentor, John Bohman. His dedication and passion inspired her current work ethic and taught her valuable leadership lessons. Halee now works as a grower and broker on Ridgeview Farms.
John Bohman, a father, farm-owner, neighbor, community member, and friend, is an inspiration and mentor to myself alongside so many others because of his commitment to agriculture: he inspires with his steadfast dedication to serving the land passed down through four passionate generations of agriculturalists. My roots and love for agriculture stem from his lifetime of successes and failures alike, and with his consistent reminder that we work in acres; not hours. He instilled a work ethic in me that only created more passion about agriculture and an eagerness to pursue advocacy and success within the field. His mentorship also has taught me the valuable lesson of leadership: not because he is his own boss or has the right to call the shots, but because he does the right thing, the hard thing, when no one is looking. He serves the land, his family, and our community without question whether crop markets are high or a record-low. He is the man that stops harvest to help a struggling family-farm complete theirs. He is the man that spends weekends off at work to ensure the security of the farm that provides for his entire family. Individuals like John are the reason why agriculture is successful and will continue to be for generations to come. John will forever be the reason why my roots were planted and will forever remain in agriculture.
Lindie Huffman Ag Extension Agent University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Falmouth, Kentucky
Through his hard work and early teachings, Lindie’s grandfather inspired her to pursue a career in agriculture. Now, Lindie applies this knowledge to her work as an Ag Extension Agent and on her family’s 6th generation farm.
It started with a family pony and the hours spent in the tobacco patch. My papaw Kenny is my ag inspiration. The only other family member to go to college, he worked as an agronomist for the state of Kentucky for his entire career. He was one of the first hired to the newly formed roadside agronomy program. Teaching me all the plants and how to identify blades of grass, picking up all the leaves from the tobacco patch ground to string up in the barn, he taught me the value of details. It’s the small things on the farm that lead to big wins, and I’ve taken that with me in my work in Extension. It’s taking the time to meet folks where they are, listening to the details, and helping them find solutions. Living and working on our 6th generation family farm is what has developed my mission to keep farmers farming & to keep families fed through access to local foods. My papaw didn’t approve at first of my journey in ag, thinking I was acceptable of so much more, but now that he has seen my passion, I can see the pride in his eyes. I’m eternally thankful for this opportunity to live the agrarian lifestyle.