Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2021 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, with support from Purina. This is the third year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs that work alongside farmers and ranchers to produce nutritious food for families and their pets across America. Utah Farm Bureau members Beth & Rhett Crandall and their dog Flint won the award last year. A video of the Crandalls and Flint can be viewed here.

The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000 in prize money. The winner will be recognized at a Farm Dog of the Year award ceremony at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention in January. Up to four regional runners-up* will win $1,000 each in prize money.

“We’re pleased to continue this award, which provides a great point of connection for the general public to get a glimpse into farm life,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “It’s especially appropriate after a year of unprecedented challenges in agriculture to recognize the dual role farm dogs often play as both working dogs and companions to farm families.”

According to scientific research insights provided by our partner Purina, living with pets can provide marked health benefits. For example, spending just 30 minutes with a dog has been proven to boost human levels of oxytocin, which has been found to reduce stress, fight depression and create feelings of trust.

“Even in these uncertain times, farm and ranch work doesn’t stop, and farmers count on farm dogs to be right there to face these challenges together,” Duvall said.

Desired attributes in the Farm Dog of the Year include helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and obedience. The 2021 Farm Dog of the Year will also be featured in a video.

“Purina is proud to support the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Dog of the Year contest,” said Jack Scott, VP of sustainability at Purina. “We understand the positive impacts pets have on people’s lives as companions and contributors to farmers’ and ranchers’ operations.  All of the fantastic submissions we receive truly help demonstrate that people and pets are better together, and we look forward to hearing and seeing many more stories in this year’s contest.”

Farm dog owners must be Farm Bureau members to enter their dogs in the competition. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can visit to learn about becoming a member in Utah.

Eligibility guidelines and submission requirements are available at Farm Dog of the Year nominations, which include written responses to questions, still photos and a video clip (optional), must be received by Aug. 20, 2020, for consideration. The Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest is sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

People’s Choice Pup was a popular element of the 2020 contest. More than 100,000 social media followers voted, commented, shared or liked their favorite dog. People’s Choice Pup will return for the 2021 contest, with profiles of the top 10 dogs shared starting in October, with the public invited to vote. Bragging rights and a $50 cash prize will be awarded to the People’s Choice Pup.