SANDY, Utah. December 6, 2016 – Wayne & Melonie Brinkerhoff of Nephi, Utah were recognized as the winners of the Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher 'Excellence in Agriculture' award. The award was presented at the recent Utah Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Layton, Utah.

The Excellence in Agriculture award is a competition that was initiated a number of years ago to recognize young farmers and ranchers involved in agriculture, but who do not necessarily derive a majority of their income from an owned production agriculture operation.

“This was so exciting to win this award. We’re thrilled to represent our county at the national level,” said Melonie Brinkerhoff. “We love being advocates for agriculture, and look forward to learning how to do this better.”

The Brinkerhoff family, representing the Juab County Farm Bureau, competed with seven other contestants for the award. The Brinkerhoffs received a 2016 Polaris ATV courtesy of Utah Farm Bureau and Zions Bank Ag Group, an insurance policy for the ATV from Farm Bureau Financial Services, and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Phoenix.

The Brinkerhoffs will compete at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in January with the winners of this same award from other State Farm Bureaus across the country. National winners of the Excellence in Agriculture award are presented their choice of either a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra Truck, courtesy of General Motors.

Wayne works for Intermountain Farmers Association full-time, but also helps with his family’s cattle ranch in Bicknell, Utah. Melonie grew up on a farm and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Education from Utah State University. She taught FFA kids in high school before starting her family. She currently teaches agriculture part-time to junior high kids, and sells at her family’s farm stand during the summer.

Wayne & Melonie are the proud parents of two kids. Together as a family they work on the farm and help promote agriculture any way they can. They have served on the State Young Farmer & Rancher Committee and have worked with local FFA chapters to help with leadership development. Melonie has also been instrumental in putting on programs at the Nephi public library for kids and parents to learn more about agriculture, where their food comes from, and to have first-hand experiences with farmers and ranchers.