Last week brought about the long-anticipated 2021 Swisher / Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year judging tour.  State winners were selected in 2020, but due to the postponement of last year’s tour, these winners will be honored at the 2021 Sunbelt Ag Expo.

Since its inception in 1990, the Swisher / Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award has evolved into the most prestigious honor in the southeast and nation with 265 outstanding agribusiness leaders being honored for their “excellence in agriculture.” Ten states participate in the program: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In the previous 30 years of the award, Swisher Sweets has awarded over $1,204,000 to the state and overall winners. Each state winner receives $2,500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Ag Expo from Swisher. A Columbia vest from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply is given to each state winner and nominator.  Additionally, Syngenta donates $500 to each state winner’s charity of choice and Massey Ferguson North America provides each winner with a gift package. The overall Southeastern winner receives an additional $15,000 from Swisher.  Other prizes for the overall winner include use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year or up to 250 hours (whichever comes first) from Massey Ferguson North America, a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply, a Hays LTI Smoker/Grill, and a Henry Repeating Arms American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 rifle from Reinke Irrigation.

This year’s state winners are:

Alabama – Thomas Ellis

Arkansas – Jamie Anderson

Florida – Raymond R. “Rick” Roth, Jr.

Georgia – Samuel L. Nunn

Kentucky – Stephen J. Kelley

Mississippi – Joe Edmondson

North Carolina – James L. Lamb

South Carolina – Robert “Bob” Martin Hall

Tennessee – Jay Yeargin

Virginia – Charles Edwin Isbell, Jr.

To learn more about these and past winners, visit  The 2021 Swisher / Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Winner will be announced at the 43rd Annual Willie B. Withers Sunbelt Ag Expo Luncheon on October 19th. We can’t wait to see you at Expo.