Last year, Joe Edmondson of Vardaman was selected as the 2020 Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Ag Expo Mississippi Farmer of the Year, but due to COVID-19, he did not get to compete in the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year judging tour until August 2021.

Edmondson, along with the other Southeastern state’s farmers of the year, were honored during the 2021 Sunbelt Ag Expo earlier this week.

Since its inception in 1990, the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award has evolved into the most prestigious honor in the southeast and nation with 265 outstanding agribusiness leaders being honored for their “excellence in agriculture.” Ten states participate in the program: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

In the previous 30 years of the award, Swisher has awarded over $1,204,000 to the state and overall winners. Each state winner receives $2,500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Ag Expo from Swisher. A Columbia vest from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply is given to each state winner and nominator.  Additionally, Syngenta donates $500 to each state winner’s charity of choice and Massey Ferguson North America provides each winner with a gift package.

The overall Southeastern winner receives an additional $15,000 from Swisher.  Other prizes for the overall winner include use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year or up to 250 hours (whichever comes first) from Massey Ferguson North America,  a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply, a Hays LTI Smoker/Grill, and a Henry Repeating Arms American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 rifle from Reinke Irrigation.

To learn more about Edmondson, click here. To learn more about the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award, visit