Working farm dogs celebrated in national contest

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

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

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.

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.

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.