Pittsylvania County student named Outstanding Young Agriculturalist
Jack Frazier Hammock of Pittsylvania County has been named the 2021 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Young Agriculturalist.
The recognition program is organized by the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and honors high school juniors and seniors for academic, community and agribusiness achievements.
Hammock is the son of Nathan and Jackie Hammock. He was 2021 valedictorian of Gretna High School and plans to pursue a degree in dairy science at Virginia Tech. He hopes to eventually join his family’s multi-generation farm partnership at Hammock Dairy Inc. in Chatham, where his family milks 800 Holstein cows. His farm duties include monitoring cow health, administering vaccines and assisting with crop work.
“A little bit of everything,” Hammock said. “Whatever my dad tells me to do!”
Competition scoring is based on academics, general leadership, farm or agriculture experience, and an oral presentation. In his five-minute presentation, Hammock focused on timely agricultural issues impacting Virginia, and discussed solutions.
“Finding reliable labor is an issue for producers, and as the next generation of farmers, we should strive for more automated farm equipment to eliminate labor shortages,” Hammock said. “And the ability to grow high-quality and high-yield crops is hard for farms in an extremely dry summer like this. It would be awesome if farms could have mass implementation of center-pivot irrigation, and not depend only on rain—just use it when crops need it the most.”
He also talked about his dairy background, how the industry is changing, and new practices to increase milk production within the decade.
Hammock was a participant in his school FFA chapter’s livestock judging, forestry contests and fundraising efforts.
He also was the 2021 valedictorian for Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology; 2021 Pinnacle Award recipient of the Graduate of Merit Program for Pittsylvania County Schools; and Eastern States Division Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen of the Year.
For his OYA win, Hammock will receive a $1,500 scholarship sponsored by Farm Credit, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. and Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
First runner-up Regan Jackson of Clarke County will receive $500 courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.
Other finalists were Carrie Barker, Pittsylvania County; Jenna Beville, Sussex County; Rachel Craun, Rockingham County; Ava Genho, Rappahannock County; Olivia Gibson, Rappahannock County; Savannah Goodwin, Louisa County; Sammy Leach, Fauquier County; Charlie Moser, Bedford County; Austin Presley, Pittsylvania County; Jill Reiter, Dinwiddie County; Lauren Rhodes, Augusta County; Ann Rae Sisson, Montgomery County; Ellie Vance, Augusta County; Ellie Vincent, Clarke County and Tanner Wise, Buckingham County.
All finalists will receive $250.