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Jake and Sara Harward of Mapleton, and Kelby and Kathie Iverson of Hurricane, are winners of the Utah Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture awards.

Steve Styler of Delta won the bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet contest.

The Harwards' came out on top in a competition that saw contestants evaluated on farming operation growth, financial progress and participation in organizations, including the Farm Bureau.

The Iversons' award honors young farmers and ranchers involved in agriculture, but who don't derive the majority of their income from agriculture.

The Harwards own Harward Farms Sweet Corn and Jaker's Jack-O-Lanterns grown at their farm in Springville. They began managing 10 roadside stands selling sweet corn in 2001 and since have expanded to 31 stands.

The Iversons and their four children own and operate Western Legacy Farm and Ranch, which boards horses, offers riding lessons and sponsors a summer kids camp, Easter egg hunts, cattle drives and other agricultural activities.

Kelby Iverson works full time as director of physical facilities for Diamond Ranch Academy, a private high school. Kathie Iverson is homemaker and piano teacher.

Both couples will compete at the American Farm Bureau's annual convention against award winners from across the nation.

Styler won a contest designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation were expected from each participant. Competitors discussed how to develop a fair and comprehensive immigration reform policy; the challenges young farmers face in terms of sacrificing urban amenities to live and farm in rural areas; asset transfer and estate planning; and how to educate young people on the values of agriculture.

Styler, an agriculture and water attorney, and wife Lindsey farm 350 flood-irrigated acres, producing primarily alfalfa hay and grains.

The Utah Farm Bureau counts more than 28,800 families as members. It is affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the world's largest general farm organization, with 6.2 million members in 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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