Dairy Farmer Selected as One of Four Winners in USFRA National Spokesperson Search
February 6, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA®), a coalition of which NMPF is a member, announced that dairy farmer Will Gilmer (left) from Sulligent, AL, had been selected as one of four winners in its Faces of Farming & Ranching program, a nationwide search launched in summer 2012 to help put real faces on the American agriculture industry.
Chris Chinn from Clarence, MO, Katie Pratt from Dixon, IL, and Bo Stone from Rowland, NC, were the other three winners. The winners will act as national spokespeople and share stories and experiences on a national stage to help answer consumers’ questions about how food is grown and raised to feed our nation. More than 100 applications had been submitted to the Faces of Farming & Ranching program from passionate, dedicated farmers and ranchers across the country.
Gilmer and his father own/operate a dairy farm in Alabama’s Lamar County. The dairy has been in continuous operation since Will’s grandfather established it on his parents' farm in the early 1950s. They currently milk 200 Holstein cows and raise their own replacement heifers, while managing 600 acres of land used for pasture and forage production. Those forages include hay, summer silage crops, and small grains/ryegrass for both silage and strip grazing. Gilmer is an active contributor to social media, with a series of videos on his YouTube channel. He is a member of Dairy Farmers of America.
From Nov. 15 – Dec. 15, 2012, thousands of people visited www.fooddialogues.com/faces-of-farming-and-ranching to learn more about the candidates and to vote for whom they believed best represented American agriculture. In addition to the public vote, a panel of judges from throughout the food and agriculture community interviewed and evaluated the finalists to help determine the winners of Faces of Farming & Ranching. Criteria included the ability and commitment to share their stories about continuous improvement; involvement with the community and agricultural organizations; strong speaking capabilities, and a passion for what they do.