Janice Wolfinger of Morristown, Ohio is one of the nine finalists selected by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) “Faces of Farming and Ranching” national spokesperson search. Janice and her husband Jake are active members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Ohio Farm Bureau, which encouraged her entry.
More than 100 farmers and ranchers from across the country responded to the call to find real “faces” to share their stories on a national stage and further the dialogue about how food is produced in America today. Entries spanned the corners of the country and included various types of food grown and raised, but all shared one common theme: farmers and ranchers sharing their passion for producing food and continuously improving what they do.
Janice and Jake run cows in eastern Ohio and own and operate a feedyard in Nebraska, which they purchased and started renovating several years ago. The Wolfingers were raised in the agricultural community, growing up on beef and grain farms in Ohio and now are continuing the tradition with their two daughters. Janice is a former teacher, a graduate of the checkoff-funded Masters of Beef Advocacy program and blogs about life in the beef community at www.fortheloveofbeef.blogspot.com.
Wolfinger joins eight others who were announced as finalists at USFRA’s Food Dialogues event in New York City today:
- Chris Chinn, Clarence, MO (hogs, cattle, hay and row crops)
- Will Gilmer, Sulligent, AL (dairy, hay, summer silage crops, small grains/ryegrass)
- Daphne Holterman, Watertown, WI (dairy, corn for silage, alfalfa hay)
- Brenda Kirsch, St. Paul, OR (ryegrass, hazelnuts, straw, wheat green beans, squash, crimson clover farmer)
- Eric McClam, Columbia, SC (100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, honeybees)
- Tim Nilsen, Wilton, CA (poultry)
- Katie Pratt, Dixon, IL (corn, soybean and seed corn)
- Bo Stone, Rowland, NC (corn, wheat, soybeans, hogs, cows, strawberries, sweet corn)
“Janice has proven herself as an effective spokesperson for America’s farm families,” says Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Ohio Beef Council. “She has shared her daily life on the farm with the world through her blog and has been quick to volunteer through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Ohio Beef Council, supporting consumer outreach. We are fortunate to have her representing Ohio’s beef industry.”
Through December 15, people can visit www.fooddialogues.com to learn more about each of the nine finalists and vote for who they believe best represents those across the country who work to bring food to the table. These votes will be factored into the decision to determine the “Faces of Farming and Ranching” winner which will be announced in January 2013.
In addition to the public vote, a panel of judges from throughout the food and agriculture community will interview and evaluate the finalists to help determine the “Faces of Farming and Ranching” winners. The judging panel includes David Kurns of Successful Farming, Chef Danny Boome, Lauren Lexton of Authentic Entertainment, Emily Paster, a food and parenting blogger at West of the Loop.
Winners will share their stories on a national stage through potential media interviews, consumer-facing public appearances and events and advertising campaigns. To learn more about USFRA and the “Faces of Farming and Ranching” finalists, visit www.fooddialogues.com .
Janice spoke with Heather Hetterick shortly after being named a finalist sharing why she entered.