SANDY, Utah. – Whitt & Erin Sorenson of Delta, 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.
“We love Millard County and hope to help preserve this lifestyle for our children and generations to come. We are honored to receive this award and it means a lot to have the chance to represent our home and state as we move forward to nationals,” said Whitt Sorenson. “We recognize the importance of what we get to do every day. We are truly blessed to live this lifestyle and stay true to our family roots in agriculture.”
The Sorenson family, representing the Millard County Farm Bureau, competed with five other contestants for the award. The Sorensons received a 2019 Honda ATV courtesy of Western AgCredit and Garrett Honda, 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 Austin, Texas.
The Sorensons 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. In 2020, the national winner of the Excellence of Agriculture Award will receive a new 2020 Ford vehicle (up to a value of $35,000), and paid registration to the AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky courtesy of Ford. The runner-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 50A tractor, third place finalists will receive a Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest and a $500 parts card, as well as $2,200 of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, and Fourth Place receives a Case IH 40” Combination Roll Cabinet & Top Chest and a $500 parts card.
The Sorensons raise purebred and registered Hampshire lambs, while Erin also works as a physical therapy assistant in town, and Whitt works in the agronomy division at IFA. Erin and Whitt both served as State FFA officers, and Erin later studied at Snow College and Provo College. Erin is active in her community and is an ambassador for agriculture, having recently been elected as the chair of the Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Committee.
"Agriculture is an exciting and changing industry, and we have to continually learn and grow ourselves. We owe a lot of our success to Farm Bureau and the Young Farmers and Ranchers program, and what we’ve learned from others,” said Erin Sorenson. “We are excited and honored to represent Millard County and Utah at the national competition. Great things are happening on our farm and in this area; any opportunity to share our message helps advocate for this industry that we love.”
Millard County is one of the most productive counties in Utah in terms of production agriculture, with total annual receipts nearing $130 million dollars, according to USU Extension. The county ranks in the top five in terms of dairy cattle and all cattle, as well as the production of hay, corn, oats, wheat and barley. They also produce significant numbers of sheep and produce.
About the Utah Farm Bureau
The Utah Farm Bureau is the largest general farm and ranch organization in the state with more than 34,000 member families. Its mission is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed, and grow through the ‘Miracle of Agriculture’. The Farm Bureau is a non-partisan, voluntary organization, and its efforts are based on grassroots policies developed by members at the local, county, state and national levels. It is affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the world’s largest general farm organization, with more than 6 million family members in 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to the Utah Farm Bureau Web site at http://www.utahfarmbureau.org, ‘Utah Farm Bureau’ on Facebook, @UtahFarmBureau on Twitter, Utah Farm Bureau on Instagram, or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/utahfarmer.