> News Release

State Farm Bureau Professionals Recognized for Excellence in Communications

AFBF Staff

The American Farm Bureau Federation recently hosted a national competition to recognize top professionals from state Farm Bureau organizations for their exceptional work in communications. New York, Illinois and Utah Farm Bureaus received the most awards overall, earning honors in several categories including writing, media relations, social media and video production.

This year’s contest included 177 submissions for work produced in 2022 by state Farm Bureaus across the country.

“Highlighting the important work farmers and ranchers do each day is critical to the mission of Farm Bureau,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “State Farm Bureau communicators are the best in their field, amplifying the trusted voices of our grassroots members to become a powerful voice for agriculture across the country.”

Awards were presented to Farm Bureau communicators in Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

A list of award winners follows. This year’s honorees are being recognized for excellence in several new digital categories as well as the inaugural Anne Marie Moss Team Effort Award. The Moss Award recognizes outstanding collaboration on an issue that is a priority for AFBF; sustainability is the issue for this year’s contest. Each award is divided into three groups based on membership size, with larger state membership winners listed first. Only two awards are listed in categories where there were entries in only two of the divisions.

Anne Marie Moss Team Effort Award

New York, for “Focusing on the Future,” a multi-faceted initiative that shares the innovative sustainability work farmers are doing – Seth Moser-Katz, Steve Ammerman, Brooks Brown, Tim Bigham, Renee Ciardi, Lauren Williams, Ashley Oeser, Kyle Wallach, Renee St. Jacques, Mark James, Todd Heyn, Lauren McGrath

Wisconsin, for “35 Under 35,” a program that recognizes members for leadership in environmental, social and economic activities – Rachel Gerbitz, Amy Eckelberg, Cassie Sonnentag, Lynn Siekmann, Wendy Volkert, Bob Nash

Alabama, for “Down to Earth: Agriculture Sustains Alabama,” a campaign that shares the sustainable- and conservation-minded practices of farmers and forest landowners –

Jeff Helms, Mary Wilson, Marlee Jackson, Laura Unger, Matt Wilson, Kevin Worthington, Maggie Edwards, Mike Moody, Chris Thomas, Melissa Martin, Sara Beth Beals, Brooke Foster, Brooke McBrayer

Best Agriculture Story

New York – Brooks Brown

Kansas – Greg Doering

Alabama – Marlee Jackson

Best Single Blog Item, Editorial or Column

New York – Steve Ammerman, David Fisher

Utah – Matt Hargreaves

Michigan – Mitch Galloway

Best Newspaper or E-Newsletter - published at least quarterly

New York – Steve Ammerman, Brooks Brown

California – Christine Souza, Ching Lee, Caleb Hampton, Peter Hecht, Nicole Pacheco, Paula Erath

Illinois – Deana Stroisch, Timothy Eggert, Daniel Grant, Kay Shipman, Allison Preston, Tammie Sloup, Catrina Rawson, Nicole Dowling, Jenny Gentes

Best Magazine - published at least quarterly

Montana – Rebecca Colnar, Bobbi Burow

California – Christine Souza, Ching Lee, Barbara Arciero, Linda DuBois, Paula Erath, Peter Hecht, Nicole Pacheco

Illinois – Chris Magnuson, Mike Orso, Nan Fannin, Jeff Brown, Tammie Sloup

Best Member/Leader Newsletter - print or e-newsletter

Kansas – Sheridan Wimmer

Illinois – Brenda Matherly, Ryan Tate, Ryan Whitehouse, Jenny Eisenbeis, Melissa Rhode, Nicole Dowling, Jeff Brown, Katie Zelechowski

Best Graphic Design

New York – Brooks Brown

Missouri – Rebecca Hoelscher

Illinois – Melissa Rhode, Tifani Shea, Katie Zelechowski, DeAnne Bloomberg

Best Audio News Story, Feature Story or Commentary/Editorial

New York – Steve Ammerman, Seth Moser-Katz

Kansas – Shelby Varner

Texas – Tom Nicolette

Best Video News Story

New York – Seth Moser-Katz, Steve Ammerman

California – Aubrey Aquino, Jeff Bell

Texas – Pedro Rosas, Ed Wolff, Julie Tomascik

Best Video Feature Story

New York – Seth Moser-Katz, Steve Ammerman

South Carolina – Carey Herndon

Kentucky – Matthew Hilton, Michael Corrigan

Best Promotional or Education Video or Ad

New York – Seth Moser-Katz

Utah – Matt Hargreaves, Wade Garrett, Faith Jolley, Phil Tuttle

Mississippi – Jon Kalahar, Alex Lowery, Karen Miller, Sam Boone

Best Unique Tactic or Execution

Wisconsin – Cassie Sonnentag, Lynn Siekmann, Bob Leege

Iowa – Caitlyn Lamm, Zach Bader, Aaron Siskow, Andrew Wheeler, Sara Payne

Best Website

California – Christina Apkarian, Melanie Duval, Alex Eickmann, Connor Duncan

Illinois – Gracie Pierson

Best Social Media Video

New York – Seth Moser-Katz, Steve Ammerman

Oklahoma – Dustin Mielke, Rebekah Nash

North Carolina – Kathy Bostrom, Lynda Loveland, Mark Stebnicki, Jamie Thomas

Best Social Media Campaign

Kansas – Sheridan Wimmer, Meagan Cramer, Sandi Cowdin, Greg Doering, Jennifer Alonso, Shelby Varner

Iowa – Dana Ardary, Zach Bader, Bo Geigley, Sara Payne

Best Social Media Presence

Montana – Rebecca Colnar, Dylan Davidson

Wisconsin – Cassie Sonnentag, Amy Eckelberg, Lynn Siekmann, Rachel Gerbitz

Illinois – Sabrina Burkiewicz, Katie Zelechowski, DeAnne Bloomberg

Best Media Relations Event

Utah – Matt Hargreaves, Aubree Thomas, Clayton Beckstead, Susan Furner, Heidi LeBlanc, Jennie Taylor

Mississippi – Jon Kalahar, Alex Lowery, Karen Miller, Sam Boone

Best Public Relations Campaign

New York – Steve Ammerman, Tonya Van Slyke, Chyresse Wells

Utah – Matt Hargreaves, Aubree Thomas

Mississippi – Jon Kalahar, Alex Lowery, Karen Miller, Sam Boone

Dave Lane Award for Media Relations Excellence

Utah – Matt Hargreaves

Illinois – DeAnne Bloomberg, Sierra Henry, Andrea Casali

Press Contact

Mike Tomko
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3642

Bailey Corwine
Media Relations Specialist
(202) 406-3643