Harrison County Couple Take Home Honors during American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Meeting

Posted on Jan 8, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN. (January 8, 2018) Ben and Katie Furnish of Harrison County took the third place award in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award competition, announced at the organization’s 99th Annual Meeting.

Ben and Katie Furnish (left) win third place in the American Farm Bureau Federation's Young Farmer & Ranchers Achievement Award competion.

The Furnishes won the opportunity to compete nationally after being honored as Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) 2017 “Outstanding Young Farm Family,” last December.

According to information from AFBF, “The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.”

In 2003 Ben Furnish bought his first group of cows and raised his first tobacco crop utilizing the farming background he grew up with on his parents’ 176 acre cattle and burley tobacco operation. From that point Furnish expanded significantly on what his father had started and purchased his first farm of 46 adjoining acres in 2005.

Over the next decade he would continue to grow through purchased and leased land. Today, he and his family operate on more than 2,200 acres of owned and leased land. Farm production includes stocker steers, burley tobacco, corn, soybeans, wheat, mixed hay and, for the last three years, industrial hemp.

The Furnishes also custom harvest hay for a neighboring farm, and custom harvest grains for neighboring farms when needed. The couple plans to expand their stocker operation in the future, while also looking “heavily” at expanding their feeder calf operation. This would allow for another source of natural fertilizer and lower their input cost without sacrificing crop yields.

The Furnishes are members of Harrison County Farm Bureau and are active in many other organizations. They also enjoy many family activities including being active in their church and participating in local recreational baseball.

For their third place finish, the couple will receive a Case IH 40” combination roll cabinet and top chest and a $500 Case IH parts card, courtesy of Case IH. In addition, they will take home $2,000 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Black & Decker.

Kentucky Farm Bureau, with more than 478,000 member families statewide, is the state's largest general farm organization. Over 500 members from Kentucky attended the 99th Annual Convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, held January 5-10 in Nashville, TN to recognize this year's individual and organizational achievements and adopt policy for 2018.