Top Producer of the Year

You’ve taken the risks and built a successful business.

You give back to your industry and your local community.

Your story would help others push themselves to achieve success.

The Top Producer of the Year Award identifies and honors agricultural producers from whom our readers can learn business concepts, ranging from value-added ventures to succession plans to overcoming adversity. If these characteristics can be used to describe you, then you should apply to be the 2019 Top Producer of the Year.

Top Producer of the Year

Entrants will be judged on:

  • entrepreneurial originality (50%)
  • financial and business progress (30%)
  • industry or community leadership (20%)

Any farmer or rancher who derives at least half of his/her income from farming and farm-related ventures may apply.


The three 2019 Top Producer of the Year finalists received a trip for two to Top Producer Seminar, a trip to Commodity Classic, CEO consulting sessions and other prizes. The winner also received a lease of a Case IH tractor for six months. Prizes may vary from 2019.

The three finalists for the 2020 Top Producer of the Year award will be recognized at the 2020 Top Producer Seminar, which runs Jan. 28-30 in Chicago.

Deadline to enter: Sept. 5, 2019

For details, please email editor Sara Schafer at [email protected]

>> Download the 2020 application

Profiles of Past Winners:



Winner: Frank Howey, Monroe, N.C.


Bailey Family Farms, Iola, Ill.

Jeremie Pavelski, Heartland FarmsHancock, Wis.


Winner: Chalmers and Lori Anne CarrRidge Spring, S.C.


Richard and Roderick GumzEndeavor, Wis.

John PagelKewaunee, Wis.

2016 Top Producer of the Year

Donald and Cheri De Jong

Hartley, Texas


Ron and Zoey Brooks and Brooks Farms

Waupaca, Wis.

Annie Dee and Dee River Ranch

Aliceville, Ala.

2015 Top Producer of the Year

Bill, Albert, Bernard and David Peterson and Peterson Farms

Loretto, Ky.


Stan Boshart and SJB Farms

Tangent, Ore.

Roric Paulman and Paulman Farms

Sutherland, Neb.

2014 Top Producer of the Year

Lee Lubbers

Gregory, S.D.


Jay and Cara Myers

Colfax, N.D.

Joe Zumwalt

Warsaw, Ill.


Luke Brubaker

Mount Joy, Pa.

John Carroll

Illinois and Brazil

Dave Nelson

Fort Dodge, Iowa


Gregg Halverson

Grand Forks, N.D.

Tim Richter

Lime Springs, Iowa

Mike Stamp

Decatur, Mich.


Jim Kline

Hartford City, Ind.

Jake Clark

Grand Ledge, Mich.

Justin Crownover

Sunray, Texas


Donny DeLine

Charleston, Mo.

Schmidt Farms

Sudlersville, Md.

Hudye Farms

Burlington, Colo.


Lon Frahm

Colby, Kan.

Andy & Beth Snider

Hart, Mich.

Duncanson Growers

Mapleton, Minn.


Dave Minich,

Logansport, Ind.

Star Rock Farms,

Conestoga, Penn.

Leroy Shatto,

Osborn, Mo.


Kip Tom,

Leesburg, Ind.

Joe Nichols,

Wallonia, Ky.

Randy Hughes,

Janesville, Wis.


Chad Olsen,

Hendricks, Minn.

Dean Walker,

Orofino, Ida.

Rick Rosentreter,

Carlinville, Ill.


Steve Irsik,

Ingalls, Kan.

Bill Kubecka,

Palacios, Tex.

Craig Yunker,

Elba, N.Y.


Brian Mitchell,

Elkhart, Kan.

Kevin Green,

DeWitt, Iowa

Jay Garetson,

Copeland, Kan.


Dean Folkvord,

Three Forks, Mont.

Keith Masser,

Sacramento, Pa.

Tim Dewey,

Cimarron, Kan.


Melvin Winger,

Johnson, Kan.

Jerry Hostetter,

Ephrata, Pa.

Jay Clasing,

Ruthven, Iowa


Ben Riensche,

Jesup, Iowa

John Moser,

Greeley, Colo.

Gene Veliquette,

Williamsburg, Mich.


Marty Klinker,

Fairfield, Mont.

Donnie Young,

Ulysses, Kan.

Steve and Lola Raska,

Great Falls, Mont.