Ross & Kelsey Summers of Thatcher, Box Elder County were the winners of the Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) ‘Achievement Award’. The award was presented at the recent Utah Farm Bureau Annual Convention and is considered the top honor for young farmers and ranchers in Utah. 

The YF&R program helps young Farm Bureau members shape their future and American agriculture through leadership development and personal growth opportunities. Three competitions are held to enable members to showcase their leadership experience, communication skills and successful business plans as they compete against the best of the best from each state Farm Bureau.

The Achievement Award is a competition that recognizes those young farmers and ranchers that have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and honed their leadership abilities to superiority. Participants are involved in production agriculture with a majority of their income subject to normal production risks.

“This was a thrill to win this award,” said Kelsey Summer. “We are grateful for the experience Farm Bureau has offered us, and we’re excited to represent our county and state at the national level.”

From left to right: Lance Zollinger (President of Cache Valley Bank), Valjay Rigby (President of Utah Farm Bureau Federation), Justin Munns (with Stotz Equipment), Kelsey & Ross Summers and son.

The contestants are evaluated on a combination of their farming operation growth and financial progress of operation, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau. More specifically, the judges look for excellence in management, growth and scope of the enterprise and self-initiative that are displayed throughout the operation.

Ross and Kelsey are 4th generation farmers that live and farm in Thatcher (west of Tremonton), where they grow more than 500 acres of corn, winter wheat, and alfalfa. Ross also operates a corn seed dealership where he sells hybrid corn seed to other farmers.

The couple are strong advocates for agriculture and helping those in her community and abroad to be familiar with how food gets on their plate. They do these through career days at the schools their children attend, as well as helping with farm field trips and volunteering with their local FFA chapter.

“Competing for this award has been a great way to help us refine our agricultural business and improve as advocates for our industry,” Ross Summers said. “We have met so many amazing people through Farm Bureau that share our passion for agriculture. It is an honor to represent our state at nationals.”

The Summers’, representing the North Box Elder County Farm Bureau, competed with six other finalists from around the state for the award. For winning the Achievement Award, they received a John Deere Gator ATV courtesy of Cache Valley Bank and Stotz Equipment and will attend the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Salt Lake City this January. They will also receive an expense-paid trip to the national Young Farmer & Rancher Conference later in 2024 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ross & Kelsey will compete at the American Farm Bureau (AFBF) annual convention against Achievement Award winners from across the nation. National winners of the award receive $35,000 credit towards a new Ford, courtesy of Ford. The runner-up receives $25,000 credit towards a new Case IH piece of equipment, courtesy of Case IH. Others receive prizes courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.

About the Utah Farm Bureau

The Utah Farm Bureau is the largest general farm and ranch organization in the state with more than 35,000 member families. Its mission is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed and grow through the miracle of agriculture. It strives to bring value to every citizen and community through love of God, family, country, and the land through political action, educational and informational means. For more information, visit or connect on social media on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter) and on YouTube.