Kyla and Dustin Estes, of Marquand, were named the winners of the Missouri Farm Bureau (MOFB) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Excellence in Agriculture Award during the organization’s 109th annual meeting on December 5 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award is designed to recognize young farmers and ranchers who have not received a majority of their income from an owned production agriculture enterprise for the past three years.

The Estes were recognized for their involvement in Farm Bureau, agriculture and the community during the annual YF&R breakfast. The couple earned $1,000 provided by the MOFB Foundation for Agriculture and Ford Motor Company.

The Bollinger County Farm Bureau members also won a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, to represent Missouri at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award Contest in January 2024. The contest is part of the AFBF annual meeting where they will compete for the grand prize of $35,000 to be used towards a new Ford vehicle and paid registration to the 2024 YF&R conference in Omaha on March 8-11, 2024.

The Estes have served on their county Farm Bureau board for a total of 10 years, coming in two separate stints. They currently have 33 cows in production and several heifers that they have raised to add to their herd. The cattle run with another 120 head of cattle that Kyla Estes’ father owns, and their help on the farm allows them to house their cattle together.

The duo, who have been married for 14 years and have two daughters, also spent two years on MOFB’s YF&R committee.

A key piece of their application focused on important issues that they see needing to be addressed in Missouri agriculture, including educating the public on where food originates, black vulture eradication and rural broadband access.

Second place in this year’s contest went to Jessy Schomaker of Marion County, while third place was earned by Charlie Brooks of Wright County.

A photo of Kyla and Dustin Estes is available via this link. For additional information or to set up an interview with the winners, contact Janet Adkison, Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy, at 573-893-1467.