Meet 5 Inspiring and Business-Focused Farmers

03:55PM Jan 22, 2019
2019 Top Producer Summit
At last week’s Top Producer Summit, Top Producer honored five impressive farmers.
( Lindsey Robinson )

At last week’s Top Producer Summit, Top Producer honored five impressive farmers. Below you can meet these farmers, who received honors for their dedication to the business of farming.

Top Producer of the Year Award

Jimmy of Tosh Farms is the 2019 winner of Farm Journal’s annual Top Producer of the Year Award. Tosh is the owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork and Bacon By Gosh in Henry, Tenn. The operation includes 30,000 sows that produce 750,000 market hogs annually and 15,000 acres of white and yellow corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat and barley. Jimmy’s sons, Jamey and Jonathan, are involved in the business, as well as nearly 400 full-time employees. Learn more about Jimmy Tosh.

Also honored as finalists during the annual Top Producer of the Year banquet held Wednesday night in Chicago were Chris Adams of Adams Family Farms in Grand Forks, N.D.; and Ron Rabou of Rabou Farms in Albin, Wyo.

Chris Adams serves as vice president of Adams Family Farm, a wheat, soybean and edible bean operation in Grand Forks, N.D. The 9,000-acre operation also processes bean on-farm and sells direct to multiple countries. The farm is a partnership between Chris, his wife, Kelsey, and parents, Steve and Darla Adams. The fourth-generation operation employees seven full-time and 65 part-time team members. Learn more about Chris Adams.

Ron Rabou is the president and manager of Rabou Farms in Albin, Wyo. The fifth-generation farm includes organic wheat, lentils, millet, chick peas and ancient grains across 8,000 acres. The operation includes 144 cow-calf pairs, as well as real estate and private big game hunts. Ron’s wife, Julie, one full-time employee and three part-time employees round out the team. Learn more about Ron Rabou.

Tomorrow’s Top Producer Horizon Award

Anthony Schwarck of Riceville, Iowa, is the 2019 Tomorrow’s Top Producer Horizon Award winner. This award, sponsored by Pioneer, is given to a producer under the age of 35, who demonstrate excellence in the business of farming. 

In 2004, Schwarck became the fourth generation of his family to farm, by joining his parents, Dan and Laurie Schwarck, and grandparents, Chris and Ann Schwarck. In 2006, Schwarck started farming 160 of his own acres. Today his operation includes 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans. In 2013, along with his wife, Aarika, Schwarck started a beef finishing operation. In the first year, the couple marketed 300 beef heifers. In 2019, they will market 2,500 head of cattle. Learn more about Anthony Schwarck.

Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award

April Hemmes of Hampton, Iowa, is the 2019 Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award winner. This new award, which is sponsored by Corteva, honors a female producer who is an advocate for agriculture and represents an innovative farming or ranching operation. 

Since 1993, Hemmes has been the sole owner and operator of her fourth-generation family farm. In her 33 years as a farmer, she has more than doubled her corn yields, created healthier soils and increased profitability. Grain marketing is a passion of hers, so eight years ago she helped form a women’s grain marketing group that meets monthly outside of the growing season. Hemmes is true advocate for agriculture. Whether it’s a waitress, student or Ugandan farmer, Hemmes proudly explains how she sustainably raises her crops. Learn more about April Hemmes.


More than 1,000 participants attended in this year’s Top Producer Summit in Chicago. For the first time ever, Farm Journal combined Top Producer Seminar, Tomorrow’s Top Producer, Executive Women in Agriculture (EWA) and the Legacy Project Conference for a week of networking and education for the nation’s executive farmers. Producers, representing 4 million acres from 33 states, Canada and Australia, attended the Summit.