Troy and Bobbie Jo Uglem, Northwood, N.D., were recently named one of four National Outstanding Young Farmers for 2012 by the National Outstanding Young Farmers of America.
The four national winners were selected from a group of 10 finalists for the award based on their progress in an agricultural career, extent of soil and water conservation practices, and contributions to the well-being of the community, state, and nation.
The other finalists are Andrew and Karlie Bowman of Oneida, Ill., Duce and Joy Tallamy of Wantage, New Jersey; and Brian and Renee Schaal of Burlington, Wisc.
The Uglems started farming in 1999 and they now raise black turtle beans, spring wheat, soybeans, winter wheat, dry peas, corn, and spearmint on 4,080 acres.
Fine tuning the mint still used to process the plant material to oil on the farm has proven to be one of Troy's greatest challenges.
Troy says continuous wet conditions have caused him to use drain tile and surface draining in order to manage water issues. Making the land more productive has been a priority to Troy and Bobbie as well as Troy's parents, who were all awarded the Grand Forks County Soil Conservation Award for their efforts. Involvement in the EQIP program, utilizing variable rate fertilizer application and soil testing, straight cutting dry beans to leave residue that prevents erosion, and minimizing soil compaction by using tracks on his equipment have all contributed to Troy's success in land stewardship.
Bobbie works part time as a school psychologist, spending the balance of her time raising their four children, Tristen, 10, Skylar, 7, Addison, 4, and Grayson, 2.
The four national winners received a savings bond from corporate sponsor John Deere and the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., during National Ag Week in 2013.
The NOYF program selected its first group of national winners in 1955. The program is sponsored by John Deere, administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America (OFA), and supported by the U.S. Jaycees and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
For more information about the awards, or to nominate an agricultural producer for the award, visit www.ofafraternity.org.
Source: Outstanding Farmers of America