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Iowa Farmer Wins "Grow Your Future" Award
Iowa Ag Connection - 02/08/2024

Ashley Wenke, a dynamic young farmer from Pleasant Grove Homestead near Montezuma, Iowa, clinched victory in the Iowa Farm Bureau's "Grow Your Future" Award. With a $7,500 prize in hand, Ashley and husband Zachary are set to amplify their direct-to-consumer produce and meat business.

Cultivating over 40 diverse crops alongside meat birds and laying hens, the Wenkes saw remarkable success, selling over 1,200 meat chickens in 2023. Actively contributing to their community, their farm supplied $9,000 worth of fresh produce to local food pantries and continues to provide 90 dozen eggs weekly.

Ashley plans strategic investments with her winnings, focusing on stainless steel tables, cooler shelves, and harvest crates to boost efficiency by 30%. This award not only provides financial backing but also spotlights the innovative spirit of young farmers.

The "Grow Your Future" competition, designed for farmers aged 18-35, showcased Carly Zierke of Sweet Season Farm and Bobbi Jo Berg of Recipes from French Creek, securing second and third place, respectively. This competition emphasizes Iowa Farm Bureau's commitment to supporting the next generation of agriculture leaders, shaping the industry's future.

In the ever-evolving agricultural landscape, the "Grow Your Future" Award stands as a beacon, empowering young farmers like Ashley Wenke to carve successful niches and contribute to thriving communities.

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