Kentucky farmer named 2016 National “Farm Mom of the Year”

Farm Forum

After nearly two weeks of online voting, America has determined the national winner in Monsanto’s 2016 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest. Kentucky farmer Mary Courtney, who started her farm with her husband, Shane, and now grows corn, soybeans, burley tobacco, mixed vegetables, green bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, squash and zucchini, specialty peppers and seedless watermelon, and raises cattle, garnered the most online votes to capture the national title. She is the first ever regional or national winner from the Bluegrass State.

Mary was one of five women who were recognized at the end of April as a regional finalist in the program. All of them, including Ann Stamp (Cranston, R.I.), Karen Kasper (Owatonna, Minn.), Katie Heger (Underwood, N.D.), Nikki Weathers (Yuma, Colo.) and Mary were selected by both the American Agri-Women and Monsanto for their dedication and commitment to their families, farms, communities and the agriculture industry.

America voted online at from April 22 through May 4 for one of the five regional finalists to be named the national winner. All five women will receive $5,000. Mary will receive an additional $5,000 for securing the most votes to be named the national “Farm Mom of the Year.”

“I had the fortunate opportunity to meet all of these women in person at the end of April, and their energy and passion for their families, communities and agriculture is absolutely inspiring,” says Tracy Mueller, corporate brand manager for Monsanto. “These women are literally helping nurture and grow our world. They love talking about their lives and their farming lifestyle, yet they are so humble about their invaluable role. We can’t wait for everyone to learn more about what they do and how they’re making a positive difference in farming today.”

About Mary Courtney

Mary was nominated for the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest by her husband, Shane. In his nomination, he noted that being a mom is no easy task, but Mary makes being a full-time farmer, director of a multi-state ag lender and mother of four look easy.

“Where she has a will, she finds a way. We began our farming operation from scratch in 2008, the same year we welcomed our first son. It is with tenacity and fortitude, she taught herself payroll taxes, manages a crew of 18 migrant workers, plans, produces, and markets an abundance of local fruits and vegetables, contracts grain, and teaches the oldest children to bottle feed calves, while the youngest is in tow.”

Mary is an active member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau, and she spends any “free time” she has minimizing barriers for the next generation of agriculturists as well as speaking about agriculture to help lessen any food fears consumers may have. She created a “Touch the Dirt Day” event to encourage consumers to come out to their farm and learn about agriculture, she works on various ag literacy efforts and provides guidance to the local cooperative extension.

To learn more about Mary, her fellow 2016 regional Mom of the Year winners or winners from years past, visit To request a list of winners by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, Attn: Sue Dillon, 349 Marshall Ave. Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63119.