JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Adam and Valerie Uthlaut, of New Florence, won the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award during the organization’s 102nd annual meeting December 6 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Uthlauts received a plaque recognizing their farm management and leadership skills from MFB President Blake Hurst during the annual YF&R breakfast. Their award included a $500 check from the Missouri Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, a $500 check from Ford Motor Company, and one-year free use of a Gator utility vehicle from Sydenstricker John Deere.

The farm couple also won a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, to represent Missouri at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) YF&R Achievement Award Contest this January. The contest is part of the AFBF Annual Meeting where they will compete for the grand prize of a 2017 Chevrolet or GMC truck. Three finalists each receive prizes of a Case IH Farmall tractor, $500 in Stihl farm merchandise and $2,500 cash.

The couple run a large diversified livestock and crop farm with Adam’s father and brother. Adam and Valerie moved back to the family farm after Valerie earned her Master’s degree in animal and veterinary science from the University of Wyoming. Both graduated from UW with Bachelor’s degrees in animal and veterinary science.

With extensive knowledge in artificial insemination (AI) both do all of the reproductive work for their cows and heifers. In 2016, Adam and Valerie AI’ed more than 400 cows and 200 heifers sold directly from the farm, half of those represent their share of the family operation. He also owns and manages a flock of 85 ewes and, with the help of a full-time employee, runs the farm’s haying operation to cut hay for 1,900 large round bales and 1,800 square bales each year. In total, the family farms more than 2,700 rented acres and 1,200 owned acres.

To save labor cost, they hire out silage chopping to a custom chopper. They have also started to plant fall cover crops for grazing and improved soil health. Major investments have been made in manure management on the farm to reduce labor, control odor, and better manage fertilizer costs.

The couple serves on the MFB YF&R Committee, and Adam also serves on the MFB Resolutions Committee and is chairman of the MFB Sheep Commodity Committee. Both are involved in University of Missouri Extension and the Montgomery County Soil & Water District. They have two daughters, ages 10 and 5.

Second place in the contest went to Brad and Courtney Detring, of Farmington, in St. Francois County. The couple received $200 and an expense paid trip to the AFBF Annual Meeting. Placing third to win $100 were Daniel and Elizabeth Eddy, of New Madrid, in New Madrid County. They received $100

The Achievement Award is designed to recognize the management and leadership skills of young adults who work full-time on a farm or ranch.