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Medina, North Dakota, couple named National Outstanding Young Farmers

Richie and Sarah Heinrich raise cash crops and cattle on the Heinrich farm that was established in 1939 by Richie’s grandparents.

Richie and Sarah Heinrich
Richie and Sarah Heinrich of Medina, North Dakota, were selected national winners for 2022 at the annual National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held Feb. 3-6 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Contributed / Outstanding Farmers of America
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A Medina, N.D., couple was selected as a national winner for 2022 at the annual National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held Feb. 3-6 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Richie and Sarah Heinrich raise cash crops and cattle on the Heinrich farm that was established in 1939 by Richie’s grandparents.

Four national winners were selected for the award based on their progress in an agricultural career, extent of soil and water conservation practices and contributions to the well-being of the community, state and nation. The three other national winners for 2022 are from Illinois, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

National winners received a savings bond from corporate sponsor John Deere and the opportunity to travel to represent the National Outstanding Young Farmers at future agricultural events.

After graduating from North Dakota State University with a double major in crop and weed science and animal science, Richie began farming at age 23.

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The Heinrichs have incorporated Sarah’s family cattle business into the operation, holding a joint production sale with Sarah’s parents each year to market registered bulls and bred heifers.

Artificial insemination, genetic testing and ultrasound technologies have helped the Heinrichs evolve in the purebred cattle operation. Implementing no till, minimal till and variable-rate technology has improved soil health, and rotational grazing has benefited both the land and cattle.

Conserving the land is especially important as the Heinrichs look to pass the farm on to the next generation to sons Luke, Jacob and Andrew.

Richie is a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician along with serving on various boards and the FFA alumni, while Sarah is a local farm broadcaster and volunteers in many roles throughout the community.

The National Outstanding Young Farmers program is the oldest farmer recognition program in the United States, selecting its first group of national winners in 1955. The program is sponsored by John Deere, administered by the Outstanding Farmers of America and supported by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and the U.S. Jaycees.

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