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Outstanding in the field

A Northwood, N.D., farm couple are among the National Outstanding Young Farmers for 2012. Troy and Bobbi Jo Uglem received the award at the recent National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress in Springdale, Ark. "Just to be nominated was an...

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A Northwood, N.D., farm couple are among the National Outstanding Young Farmers for 2012.

Troy and Bobbi Jo Uglem received the award at the recent National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress in Springdale, Ark.

"Just to be nominated was an honor. To win was really an honor," Troy Uglem says.

The other three winners were farm couples from Illinois, Wisconsin and New Jersey. The four winning couples were selected from among 10 finalists nationwide for their progress in an agricultural career, soil and water conservation practices and commitment to the well-being of the community, state and nation.

The Uglems, who began farming in 1999, raise black turtle beans, spring wheat, soybeans, winter wheat, dry peas, corn and spearmint.

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They began raising spearmint in 2001, which is sold through a middleman to Wrigley's, Troy says.

Growing spearmint was one of the factors that led to the Uglems' selection in the national contest, he says.

The Uglems' water management with the use of tile and surface draining also contributed to their selection, he says.

The Northwood area, like much of eastern North Dakota, has struggled with excess moisture in recent years. Northwood is about 30 miles southwest of Grand Forks, N.D.

The Outstanding Farmers of America also cited the Uglems for utilizing variable-rate fertilizer application and soil testing, straight cutting dry beans to leave residue that reduces erosion and minimizing soil compaction by using tracks on equipment.

Bobbi Jo is a part-time school psychologist. She and Troy have four children.

The Uglems and other national winners will have an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., during National Ag Week in 2013.

The Outstanding Farmers of America organization has members in the Northwood area, who nominated the Uglems, Troy says.

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The Outstanding Farmers of America said the award is the oldest farmer recognition program in the United States.

The program selected its first group of national winners in 1955. It's sponsored by John Deere, administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America and supported by the U.S. Jaycees and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

For more information or to nominate a farmer for the award: Click here

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