Polk County High students earn inaugural Junior Farmers of the Year awards

Pictured at the Friends of Agriculture monthly breakfast are, from left, Polk County High School student Jake Justice, Overmountain Vineyards' Sofia Lilly, PCHS student Jared Wolfe and Polk County Agricultural Economic Development Director Dawn Jordan

Polk County Farms awarded its first Junior Farmers of the Year Award to a pair of Polk County High School students at its monthly Friends of Agriculture breakfast held Wednesday at the Green Creek Community Center.

Jared Wolfe and Jake Justice, both PCHS students and FFA members, received the inaugural distinction for their work with Overmountain Vineyards during the 2016-2017 season.

Overmountain Vineyards leads the way in harnessing youth to further Polk County’s agricultural heritage. Dawn Jordan, Polk County Agricultural Development Director, recognized Overmountain for its commitment to cultivating crops and young farmers for Polk County.

Sofia Lilly, Assistant Winemaker at Overmountain, expressed appreciation for Jordan and Polk County Farms and commended the teamwork of Justice and Wolfe for their work at Overmountain, which ranged from pruning vines, applying protective nets and vineyard maintenance to picking blueberries and grapes, bottling wine and wine distribution. Their teamwork helped ensure success of the 2017 harvest.

PCHS agricultural teacher Ashley Gilbert, along with several FFA students, also presented information on farm activities and agriculture course offerings at Polk County High.