Working farm dogs celebrated in national contest

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Farm dogs protect livestock and property, herd animals and neutralize pests, all while providing loving companionship for farm families and supporting farmers in producing the world’s food, fiber and other products.

American Farm Bureau Federation will honor these hard-working furry friends in the fifth annual Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, sponsored by Purina.

Virginia farmers are invited to submit nominations for their dogs to be named Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year. Desired attributes for the winning dog include helpfulness to farmers and their families, playfulness and obedience. Applications will close July 1.

Farm dog owners must be Farm Bureau members to enter dogs in the competition. Learn how to become a Virginia Farm Bureau member at membership-at-work/ membership.

The grand prizewinner will win receive a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000 in prize money, and will be recognized at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in January 2023. Up to four regional runners-up will receive $1,000.

A profile of the 2022 Farm Dog of the Year, a Florida border collie named Fit, and other contest details can be viewed at

“It’s a pleasure to host this popular contest again and provide a glimpse into daily life on the farm,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The dual role assumed by most farm dogs is so important. They lighten the workload and enrich our lives by providing faithful and playful companionship.”

Beginning in October, members of the public are invited to vote online for their favorite dog in the People’s Choice Pup portion of the competition. The People’s Choice Pup will win Purina products, including one year’s worth of Purina dog food. The winner of People’s Choice Pup, along with the Farm Dog of the Year and runners-up, will be announced at the AFBF convention.

One of Virginia’s own farm dogs competed in recent years. Dasher, a border collie who helps herd cattle on Charlotte County Farm Bureau member Sandy Riepe’s farm, was a finalist for 2021 People’s Choice Pup