Coffee County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee Chairman Walt Pridgen was named the 2019 Georgia Farm Bureau YF&R Member of the Year. The award recognizes a member who has an impact on his/her local area and who encourages, educates and leads other young farmers and ranchers.
Pridgen manages 11 poultry houses, grows hay and raises cattle. He is president of South Georgia Cattlemen, speaks to other organizations to promote agriculture and volunteers as a judge for area FFA events.
“I realized how important it is to not only be involved, but to advocate, mentor and educate,” said Pridgen, who served as vice president of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College YF&R chapter. “It became my goal to be a voice for agriculture, to mentor youth and to educate others on the importance of Georgia’s No. 1 industry.”
Will Cabe of Franklin County and Chy Kellogg of Cobb County joined Pridgen as finalists. The finalists each gave video presentations that were shown at the 2019 GFB YF&R Leadership Conference on Jekyll Island in mid-July, and conference attendees voted to determine the winner.
As the state winner, Pridgen received $250 cash. The two runners-up each received $150 cash.
The GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers program is designed to provide leadership development, educational and social opportunities for farmers between the ages of 18 and 35.