NEW ORLEANS, January 13, 2019 – Woody, an Australian shepherd owned by Texas Farm Bureau members Joe and Mary Sheeran, is the winner of the 2019 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award. The American Farm Bureau Federation, with support from Nestlé Purina, recognized Woody and four runners-up at AFBF’s 100th Annual Convention.
“It’s exciting to celebrate the important role of farm dogs on farms and ranches,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “They are loyal work partners every day on the farm. Their faithful and playful companionship constantly enriches the lives of farmers and their families.”
Purina, a household name in pet care for more than 90 years, donated prizes for the Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, which celebrates farm dogs that work alongside their people to bring nutritious food to our tables and our pets’ bowls.
Woody, the grand prize winner of the 2019 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award, won a year’s worth of Purina dog food, $5,000 in prize money, a trophy plate and a basket of Purina products.
“At Purina we recognize the important role dogs play on the farm and in the hearts of families everywhere, and we congratulate the Sheerans and Woody on winning this award,” said Jack Scott, vice president of sustainability at Nestlé Purina. “We truly believe that pets and people are better together, and all of the entries for Farm Dog of the Year are great examples of how dogs enrich our lives, both on and off the farm. Purina and Nestlé have a long history of sourcing nutritious, sustainable ingredients from American farms to make our foods. We salute farmers and the important work they are doing to steward their land and help feed generations of people and pets.”
Woody is part of the Sheeran family and Joe’s constant companion on the farm, herding cattle, sheep and ducks. Over the past eight years he has captured top honors in stock dog competitions around the country. But his bravery as an 8-month-old puppy when Joe faced certain injury from an angry “momma cow” who erroneously thought she was protecting her calf is what sets him apart. Woody came to the rescue, chasing away the cow and saving Joe’s life. “If he wasn’t there, I wouldn’t here today,” Joe said.
Four runners-up in the contest will each receive $1,000 in prize money, a trophy plate and a basket of Purina products. They are:
Clue, owned by Florida Farm Bureau members Andrew and Cindy Deak;
Shine, owned by Kansas Farm Bureau members Denny and Donna Ashcraft;
Finn, owned by New Hampshire Farm Bureau members Tim and Lisa Molinero; and
Flint, owned by Utah Farm Bureau members Rhett and Beth Crandall.
A panel of judges with expertise in the pet care industry, veterinary medicine and communications reviewed more than 90 nominations to select the Farm Dog of the Year.
Desired attributes included helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and the role dogs play to make life better on and off the farm. Farm Bureau members submitted written responses to questions, still photos and video clips to nominate their dogs for Farm Dog of the Year.
About Nestle Purina PetCare Company
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
Purina is a sponsor of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s annual Night Out at the AFBF Annual Convention.
About American Farm Bureau Federation
The American Farm Bureau is committed to working through our grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.