> News Release

Farm Bureau Names 2024 Farm Dog of the Year

People’s Choice Pup also Recognized

AFBF Staff

photo credit: Skippy, 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year.

Four-legged friends often play a vital role on family farms and ranches, prompting Farm Bureau to launch the Farm Dog of the Year contest several years ago – now a popular feature of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Convention.

The winner of the 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award is Skippy, owned by Georgia Farm Bureau members Donald and Laura Adams. AFBF, with support from Nestlé Purina PetCare, recognized Skippy, three regional runners-up and a People’s Choice Pup today at its convention.

“It has been a pleasure partnering with Purina for the sixth annual Farm Dog of the Year contest, providing the public a glimpse of daily life on the farm,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Although farmers and ranchers love what they do, it’s well known that farming can be stressful. Farm dogs can help ease the burden, because they often play a dual role as both working dogs and companions to farm families.”

Rounding up livestock and chasing off predators are among the many tasks performed by farm dogs. The contest celebrates farm dogs that work alongside farmers and ranchers as they sustainably produce nutritious food for families and their pets across America.

Skippy, the grand prize winner of the 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award, is a 4-year-old mixed breed with Border Collie, Australian Shepherd and Catahoula hound in her lineage. She has been with the Adams for about two years. Working livestock – helping move beef cattle where they need to go – is Skippy’s primary role on the farm.

photo credit: AFBF, Bigfoot Media

“Skippy’s a partner, she’s a pet and she helps us with the cattle every day,” Donald said. That assistance was necessary after he was injured on the farm in 2019 – paralyzed from the neck down – and faced a long road to recovery. He regained the ability to walk, using two canes. “Being able to keep the cows and having something for me to live for every day…she has contributed to that immensely,” he said.

Laura Adams sheds more light on the farmer-farm dog connection and what having Skippy means to them: “Skippy and Donald had an instant bond from day one. Getting a farm dog changed our lives.” They received Skippy from P.H.A.R.M. Dog USA, which supports farmers and farm family members with physical, cognitive or illness-related disabilities. 

photo credit: AFBF, Bigfoot Media

Purina donated prizes for the contest again this year. This included $5,000 in prize money, a trophy plate, a year’s supply of Pro-Plan dog food and other Purina products for Skippy. The company has been helping dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives through scientifically based nutritional innovations for more than 90 years.

“Purina is proud to support the sixth annual Farm Dog of the Year competition with the American Farm Bureau, and we applaud this year’s winner, Skippy,” said Jack Scott, vice president of sustainable sourcing at Nestlé Purina PetCare. “We believe people and pets are better together, and Skippy’s role on the farm along with her bond to Donald perfectly exemplifies what this contest is about.”

Three regional runners-up in the contest will each receive $1,000 in prize money, a trophy plate and Purina products. They are:

Cinco, owned by Caleb and Samantha Smith, Utah members (Western region);

Meg, owned by Michelle Wilfong, West Virginia member (Northeast region); and

Fancy, owned by Miles Bailey, Missouri member (Midwest region).

A panel of judges with expertise in the pet care industry, veterinary medicine and communications reviewed more than 100 nominations to select the 2024 Farm Dog of the Year. Judging criteria included the dog’s helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and their role in making life better on and off the farm. Farm Bureau members submitted written responses to questions, photos and video clips to nominate their dogs for Farm Dog of the Year.

photo credit: Caleb and Samantha Smith

Cinco, owned by Caleb and Samantha Smith, Utah Farm Bureau members.

photo credit: Michelle Wilfong

Meg, owned by Michelle Wilfong, West Virginia Farm Bureau member.

photo credit: Miles Bailey

Fancy, owned by Miles Bailey, Missouri Farm Bureau member.

People’s Choice Pup

More than 100,000 people voted online in the People’s Choice Pup part of the competition. Casper, owned by Georgia Farm Bureau member John Wierwille, was named People’s Choice Pup. 

photo credit: John Wierwille

Casper, owned by John Wierwille, Georgia Farm Bureau.

Casper receives a trophy plate and Purina products. A $1,000 cash prize will be directly donated to Atlanta-based LifeLine Animal Project at the request of Wierwille. LifeLine cared for Casper after he was injured by coyotes while protecting his flock of sheep.

Four other dogs were contenders for People’s Choice Pup: runner-up Cinco, owned by Utah members Caleb and Samantha Smith; Trip, owned by Ohio member Loralynn Kadell; Margo, owned by Indiana member Rachel Hyde; and Morgan, owned by Idaho member Megan Stark.

About NestléPurina PetCare Company

Nestlé Purina PetCare creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world’s most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Its more than 8,000 U.S. associates take pride in the company’s trusted pet food, treat and litter brands that feed 51 million dogs and 65 million cats every year. More than 500 Purina scientists, veterinarians and pet care experts ensure the brand’s commitment to unsurpassed quality and nutrition. Purina is part of Nestlé, a global leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness.

About American Farm Bureau Federation

The American Farm Bureau Federation is the Voice of Agriculture. We are farm and ranch families working together to build a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuel for our nation and the world.

Press Contact

Mike Tomko
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3642

Bailey Corwine
Media Relations Specialist
(202) 406-3643