Farm Bureau Names 2024 Farm Dog of the Year

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Skippy
The winner of the 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award is Skippy, owned by Georgia Farm Bureau members Donald and Laura Adams. (Jason Whalen, Fauna Creative photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — The winner of the 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award is Skippy, owned by Georgia Farm Bureau members Donald and Laura Adams. American Farm Bureau Federation, with support from Nestlé Purina PetCare, recognized Skippy, three regional runners-up and a People’s Choice Pup at its convention on Jan. 21.

The contest celebrates farm dogs that work alongside farmers and ranchers as they sustainably produce nutritious food for families and their pets across America.

Skippy, the grand prize winner of the 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award, is a 4-year-old mixed breed with Border Collie, Australian Shepherd and Catahoula hound in her lineage. She has been with the Adams for about two years. Working livestock — helping move beef cattle where they need to go — is Skippy’s primary role on the farm.

“Skippy’s a partner, she’s a pet and she helps us with the cattle every day,” Donald Adams said.

That assistance was necessary after he was injured on the farm in 2019 – paralyzed from the neck down – and faced a long road to recovery. “Being able to keep the cows and having something for me to live for every day…she has contributed to that immensely,” he said.

“Skippy and Donald had an instant bond from day one,” Laura Adams said. “Getting a farm dog changed our lives.” They received Skippy from P.H.A.R.M Dog USA, which supports farmers and farm family members with physical, cognitive or illness-related disabilities.

Purina donated prizes for the contest again this year. This included $5,000 in prize money, a trophy plate, a year’s supply of Pro-Plan dog food and other Purina products for Skippy.

Skippy
The winner of the 2024 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award is Skippy, owned by Georgia Farm Bureau members Donald and Laura Adams. (Jason Whalen, Fauna Creative photo)

Runners-up

Three regional runners-up in the contest will each receive $1,000 in prize money, a trophy plate and Purina products. They are:

Meg, owned by Michelle Wilfong, West Virginia member (Northeast region); Cinco, owned by Caleb and Samantha Smith, Utah members (Western region); and Fancy, owned by Miles Bailey, Missouri member (Midwest region).

A panel of judges with expertise in the pet care industry, veterinary medicine and communications reviewed more than 100 nominations to select the 2024 Farm Dog of the Year. Judging criteria included the dog’s helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and their role in making life better on and off the farm. Farm Bureau members submitted written responses to questions, photos and video clips to nominate their dogs for Farm Dog of the Year.

People’s Choice

More than 100,000 people voted online in the People’s Choice Pup part of the competition. Casper, owned by Georgia Farm Bureau member John Wierwille, was named People’s Choice Pup. Casper, a Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog, made the national news in 2022 after defending his flock of sheep from a pack of coyotes.

Casper receives a trophy plate and Purina products. A $1,000 cash prize will be directly donated to Atlanta-based LifeLine Animal Project at the request of Wierwille. LifeLine cared for Casper after he was injured by coyotes while protecting his flock of sheep.

Four other dogs were contenders for People’s Choice Pup: runner-up Cinco, owned by Utah members Caleb and Samantha Smith; Trip, owned by Ohio member Loralynn Kadell; Margo, owned by Indiana member Rachel Hyde; and Morgan, owned by Idaho member Megan Stark.

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