World Ag Expo Forage Challenge Winners Announced

February 17, 2012 10:55 AM

Prizes totaling $18,000 were awarded to winners this week.

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Rob Van Grouw (right) holds his second-place plaque for the Corn Silage non-BMR category of the Forage Challenge. Van Grouw also took home a $2,000 check. "This was the first time I had entered the Forage Challenge competition," says Van Grouw, whose Elbow Creek dairy is located near Visalia, Calif. With Van Grouw is his dairy manager, Jose Campos. (Photo: Catherine Merlo)

Tulare, Calif. - A total of $18,000 in prizes was awarded this week to winners of the 2012 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge, presented by Mycogen Seeds. Finalists were chosen from 77 entries from nine western states. 

The competition challenged farmers to enter the best of what they grow to see who produced the highest-quality forage in the West. Samples of the finalists' entries were displayed in World Ag Expo's New Products and Forage Challenge Center during the week.

“The significance of high quality forages on western dairy operations is reflected in this year's World Ag Expo Forage Challenge participants,” said Greg Cannon, Mycogen Seeds forage marketing specialist. “We congratulate all the winners and finalists for their dedication to high-quality forage production."

Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America sponsored $18,000 in contest awards and prizes. First place winners in all three categories received $3,000, while second place winners were awarded $2,000 and $1,000 for third place winners.

Farmers and ranchers from 11 western states were invited to enter the competition. Entries were judged in three categories: alfalfa hay, standard corn silage and brown mid-rib (BMR) corn silage. Cash prizes were awarded based on forage lab analyses, along with a visual evaluation of the entries by experts in dairy nutrition and forage production.

“High quality forage is vital to our industry and we're proud to provide an outlet for forage growers to showcase their products,” said Patty Colson, 2012 World Ag Expo Chairman. “Our hope is that the Forage Challenge will provide a competitive venue for growers while educating anyone interested in high quality forages.”

2012 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge Winners

Alfalfa Hay 
1st Place - Phil Troost, Springs Dairy, Lake Arthur, N.M.
2nd Place - Greg Nunes, Nunes Farms, Modesto, Calif.
3rd Place - David Hinman, Hardrock Farms, Wheatland, Wyo.

Corn Silage BMR
1st Place - Leo Van Warmerdam, Van Warmerdam Dairy, Galt, Calif.
2nd Place - Mike Barcellos, Monster Dairy, Newman, Calif.
3rd Place - Rich Callahan, Callahan Farms, Royal City, Wash.

Corn Silage Non-BMR 
1st Place - Kelly Callahan, Royal Turf Farms, Royal City, Wash.
2nd Place - Rob Van Grouw, Elbow Creek Dairy, Visalia, Calif.
3rd Place - Bert Weststeyn, Weststeyn Dairy Farms, Willows, Calif.

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