Work on the family farm takes everyone pitching in and doing their part, including “man’s best friend.” From helping to round up livestock to chasing off predators, a farm dog’s work is never done. American Farm Bureau is proud to partner with Nestlé Purina PetCare for the third annual Farm Dog of the Year contest, celebrating hardworking farm and ranch dogs and the role they play in growing our sustainable food supply.
One of those furry, four-legged farm hands for me was my dog Lady. She loved dairying as much as I did. She took a bit of training at first, but she soon became a pro at rounding up the cows for me. At the start of the day, Lady would be waiting for me on the back stoop. All I had to say was “Let’s go,” and she was off to work. I couldn’t resist, on occasion, treating her to a McDonald’s hamburger at the end of a long day. She was every bit Farm Dog of the Year in my book, and that Happy Meal was just a small way for me to say thanks for a job well done. Farm dogs hold a special place in our hearts, even after they’re gone. They are loyal, loving us at our best and worst. The Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest is just another way for us to show our gratitude and celebrate these members of our farm families.
The 2020 Farm Dog, Flint, began his career later in life, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks after all. Although Flint had been with his owner, Beth Crandall, since he was a pup, he didn’t start herding cattle and other livestock until he was 7 on the family’s ranch in Utah, along with Beth and her husband Rhett.
For the 2021 contest, AFBF will recognize a grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – as well as up to four regional runners-up and a People’s Choice Pup.
Prizes provided by Nestlé Purina PetCare include:
- One year’s worth of dry dog food, a trophy plate, Purina products and a $5,000 cash prize for the Farm Dog of the Year
- A $1,000 cash prize, trophy plate and Purina products for up to four regional Farm Dog of the Year runners-up
- Purina products including one year’s worth of dry dog food for the winner of the People’s Choice Pup
Who will join Flint with the honor of being named Farm Bureau’s 2021 Farm Dog of the Year? You’ll need to tune in to the Foundation Night In at the American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention to find out! Registration is free, and opens this Thursday, December 3.
In the meantime, we still need your help in selecting the next People’s Choice Pup. We’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 and will be tallying your votes to select a winner. You can vote for your favorites on our Facebook page. There’s no time to lose, though—voting closes December 18. Get your votes in and join us in celebrating our farm and ranch dogs this January.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.