Polk County farmer wins statewide Achievement Award, local Young Farmers & Ranchers Program recognized

Published 11:09 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

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Sofia Lilly, a young farmer in Polk County, is North Carolina Farm Bureau’s (NCFB) Achievement Award winner for 2022. 


The award ceremony took place during NCFB’s 7th Annual Convention, held Dec. 4-6 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons, in Greensboro, N.C.

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“With the demands of the nation and world requiring a more innovative approach to agriculture, it is important for young farmers to adapt to the trends and innovations that will allow them to continue producing the safest and most affordable food supply on the planet,” said NCFB President Shawn Harding.


The Achievement Award recognizes farmers between 18 and 35 years of age who are involved in NCFB’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Program (YF&R) and whose farm practices are judged to be the most outstanding in production efficiency, innovation, improvement and environmental stewardship. 

Lilly is a second-generation farmer and winemaker at Overmountain Vineyards in Tryon. She will move on to the national competition, where she will vie for American Farm Bureau Federation’s Achievement Award, which will be awarded during that organization’s annual meeting on Jan. 6-11, 2023, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 


At the same awards ceremony, the Polk/Rutherford County Young Farmers & Ranchers Program was named the 2022 Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Program Award Division 2 winner. The county program was judged to be North Carolina Farm Bureau’s (NCFB) most effective in promoting young farmer activities and goals throughout the past year.  


“North Carolina Farm Bureau members continually seek opportunities to improve the quality of life of farm and rural neighbors,” said Harding. “County YF&R programs help prepare the next generation of North Carolina farmers to become agricultural and community leaders.” 


The Polk/Rutherford Farm Bureau YF&R Program was involved in humanitarian and educational initiatives and activities during 2022. 


Jessica Duncan (left) and Sofia Lilly (right) accept the Young Farmers & Ranchers Program Award from Vice President Elaine Fyrar.


Submitted by Courtney Smith