Farm Credit Announces FreshRoots Directors Cup Honorees

Two young farmers and one farmer couple from central and southern Illinois were named FreshRoots Directors Cup honorees this week by Farm Credit Illinois.

The Directors Cup presented by the cooperative Board of Directors celebrates young and beginning farmers committed to continuous learning and intentional living for a brighter future for their farm family business and community. Honorees receive $5,000 and a commemorative keepsake.

Cooperative members were selected by a panel of five industry representatives– including two FCI Board members – based on a combination of each applicant’s unique farm beginnings, personal and business aspirations, and vision for their farm business and community.

The Directors Cup award is part of the FreshRoots young and beginning farmers program, which provides lending assistance and learning incentives to farmers up to age 40 or in their first 10 years of farming.

“Many of today’s newest farmers take proactive steps to invest in their future,” says David Haase, FCI Board Chair. “The Board of Directors celebrates these beginning farmers displaying a resilient, lifelong learning mindset.”

“FCI values personal growth and professional development for member-owners – especially young and beginning farmers,” says Aaron Johnson, FCI president and CEO. “The FreshRoots Directors Cup is a tangible way the cooperative is Helping the Next Generation of Farm Families Succeed.”

The following beginning farmers were selected as 2022 Directors Cup honorees:

  • Aaron Niebrugge of Sigel (Shelby County) is a third generation farmer raising corn, soybeans, and wean-to-finish hogs. Niebrugge, 28, owns Niebrugge Pork Farm, LLC and is solely responsible for raising, marketing, and hauling his hogs. He began farming in 2015 and shares labor and equipment with his father’s row crop operation. He is married to Jodi.
  • Scott & Amber Poettker of Aviston (Madison County) are fourth generation part-time farmers. Scott, 39, works full-time for TopAg as an agronomy supervisor and Amber, 35, works at the Clinton County Rural Health Clinic as a physician’s assistant. Scott began raising Holstein cattle in 2003 and has since added corn, soybeans, and wheat farming to his operation. They are sole proprietors of their farm and rent machinery from family. They have five children – Mandy, Kelli, Hannah, Jessi, and Jake.
  • Matt Turner of Bellflower (McLean County) is a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer partnering with his father-in-law and brother-in-law. Turner, 27, purchases chemicals and fertilizers for the operation and manages equipment servicing, operating schedule, and technology innovation. He joined the operation in 2018 and helps raise conventional, non-GMO, and seed corn and soybeans. He and his wife Samantha have one son – Bennett.




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