National Outstanding Young Farmer: Annual awards results are in for 2021 and 2022

Due to the cancelation of the 2021 National OYF Awards Congress it was decided to hold both the 2021 and 2022 Awards together this year. The Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer program is proud to announce that Wisconsin had two winners at the 2022 National Awards Congress held in Hilton Head, SC this past weekend. Philip and Laura Finger were announced as 2021 Winners and Joseph and Ashley Dudkiewicz were announced as 2022 Winners. 

Philip and Laura Finger Oconto, WI. Phil is a fifth-generation farmer on his family dairy farm, where they grow alfalfa, corn, and soybeans. Finger Family Farm currently includes a total of 1900 crop acres and 540 cows. Striving for a goal of seven pounds per cow of fat and protein components in milk per day, the Fingers utilize technology such as collars to monitor estrus activity and genomic monitoring through DNA tissue samples. Laura focuses on calf development, manages the parlor, and oversees facility maintenance. The Fingers strive to prevent a positive face for agriculture through social media and believe that the role of farmers is to build soil. A comprehensive nutrient management program, three separate manure storage facilities, and grass strips to prevent erosion are all components of their management program, with a goal of making the farm sustainable for the next generation, children Alana, PJ, Alisa, and Alivia. The Fingers will be hosting their county Breakfast on the Farm in June which is the 150th Anniversary of their family farm. Phone:  920.604.0764 cell; 920.834.9663 home.

Joseph and Ashley Dudkiewicz Crivitz, WI.  Joe and Ashley have a beef herd and cash crop about 1500 acres in northwest Wisconsin, a portion of which was purchased by Joe’s great grandfather in 1927, adjacent to the original family homestead which was established in 1896. It was in kindergarten when Joe decided that he would become a farmer as it has been deeply rooted with his family. He earned an associate degree in Farm Business. Ashley is responsible for the farm’s bookkeeping and budgeting, fertilizer and planting prescriptions, and cattle management and marketing. Selling farm products directly to the consumer has increased their returns, including direct marketing of beef, selling bagged corn as wildlife feed, and selling smaller bales of hay and straw. Joe helps with the cattle operation and manages the farming, using no-till practices and nutrient banding as well as implementing grass waterways in the conservation management program. Children Jeremy, Annabelle, and Jameson are also actively involved in the farming operation. Phone: 715.927.4069 cell; 715.587.0059 home.

The 2023 National OYF Awards Congress will be held in the great state of Wisconsin at the Red Lion Hotels – Paper Valley in Appleton, WI February 16-19, 2023. Sponsorship opportunities will be available.