2023 Ed Duren Memorial Young Producer Award Recipient
Paige Miller Nelson, Rigby
Raised on the family farm in Fremont County, Paige is a fifth generation ag producer with experience raising potatoes, wheat, barley, corn, alfalfa and a cow-cow-calf feedlot ranch. Paige developed her passion for agriculture working on the family farm.
While in college at BYU-Idaho, Paige double minored in journalism and natural resources to compliment her animal science major to allow her to pursue a career in agriculture journalism. During college, Paige served in various leadership roles include Idaho Cattle Association intern, chairperson and organizer of the first-ever BYU-I Ag Days in 2013 and the 2013 BYU-I Beef Day and as vice president of the BYU-I Cattlemen’s Association.
Paige and her husband Tyler, also a fifth generation rancher, live on the Nelson cattle ranch in Rigby. Together they own and manage a cow-calf herd, bred heifers and lease corrals to a rodeo bull consigner. Additionally, they manage the family direct-to-consumer beef business, ML Brand Beef.
Paige and Tyler are the parents of three children, Sylvia, Lydia and Cort.
2020 Ed Duren Memorial Young Producer Award Recipients
Kenny Dalling, St. Anthony, Idaho
Twenty-six-year-old Kenny Dalling got his first Ag loan at age 14, and has never wavered from his chosen path as a farmer and stockman.
He is a man who is building a successful and diverse agricultural operation in Fremont and Clark Counties by recognizing and capitalizing on potential, while being mindful of risks and cash flow.
Kenny started with a unique business model: he and his wife, Abby, purchase or rent neglected parcels needing major work and as a result, are more affordable and available than developed farms. Usually their condition, location and odd or small sizes have made these places unappealing to other producers.
By hauling off junk, weed control, and irrigation development, he brings these lands back to life and into crop or pasture production.
Kenny owns 100 acres, leases another 550 acres from eight different owners, and manages his parents’ farm of 1,000 acres. He buys and restores his mostly elderly farm equipment, and has grown his beef cowherd to 60 head. He custom bales hundreds of acres of straw, and is rapidly expanding his hay markets.
Kenny’s work ethic and accomplishments are amazing, but he’s a quiet guy who leads by example. He’s independent, self-sufficient, and determined to raise his growing family on the land.
Kenny is a grandson of EIAHF inductee Glenn Dalling.
Kenny and Abby Dalling have one daughter, Kate.
Rob Cope, Monteview, Idaho
Rob Cope is a 34-year-old, fifth-generation farmer from the Monteview area.
He got his start by purchasing 160 acres, which featured most of Idaho’s noxious weeds, damaged sprinklers and exhausted soil. It was a much better farm when he sold it.
Rob and his wife, Candace, now own 480 acres where he raises alfalfa, barley, wheat and pasture, plus cattle and horses. He also helps his dad with the family’s farm and grazing ground.
Rob is constantly educating himself about crop and livestock production and agri-business management – pushing himself to improve, increase, conserve and restore. He has the well-deserved reputation of leaving his land – and the people around him – better for having known him.
Producers of all ages watch Rob closely as he tests and adopts innovative practices relating to precision agriculture, rotation crops, and soil and water conservation. Other growers often quiz him when he stops in at Ike’s or Mud Lake Farm Supply, and he willingly shares his ideas.
Rob is also active in the tiny rural community of Monteview: a West Jefferson Lion’s Club member, and a 16-year volunteer fire fighter. He coaches kid’s sports, and has been elected by water users to two canal boards.
Rob and Candace Cope have two children, McCrae and Charlee.
Saydee Longhurst, Shelley, Idaho
Few 19-20-year-old women post pictures of haystacks and tractors on their social media pages – or operate their own agribusiness. Saydee Longhurst does, and is proud to say she’s a member of a first-generation farm family.
Saydee is a commercial hay producer, businesswoman, mentor and inspiration for women and young people interested in our industry.
She started her small-bale alfalfa and grass hay venture at age 14 as an FFA project, but soon saw real business potential. She has increased her rented acreage and financial investment every year to cover operating costs, customer demand, and now her college expenses. She raises alfalfa and alfalfa/grass hay and markets under her “Cleo’s Cuttings” business name. To expedite loading, hauling and stacking, she partnered on one of the first small-bale aggregators introduced to eastern Idaho, which compresses and string-ties 18-bale bundles.
Saydee is a former Idaho State FFA president, serves on the Idaho FFA Board of Directors, and helped conduct the inaugural Gem State Leadership Conference.
She has traveled extensively as an ambassador for agriculture and Idaho, participating on a panel with US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and interacting with many national industry leaders. She’s a member of several hay, cattle and women’s agricultural organizations, and regularly attends industry meetings and producer workshops to learn and network including several trips to national FarmHer conventions.
Saydee is balancing her hay business with attending Utah State University, where she is majoring in Ag Education with emphasis on agronomy and entrepreneurship.
Sedar Beckman, Idaho Falls, Idaho
When 35-year-old Sedar Beckman and his wife, Danna, purchased the original 155-acre Beckman family homestead in New Sweden, he reaffirmed a passion and commitment to Agriculture that goes back generations.
As well as responsibilities as manager and co-owner of Beckman Livestock & Farming south of Roberts, Idaho, Sedar and his wife independently own and/or lease farm and grazing land, and are increasing the numbers and national market share of their purebred LimFlex cow herd.
Sedar raises crops and hay, and manages the ranch’s increasingly complex registered and commercial cattle breeding and marketing program.
It’s early when he goes out the back door every morning – but he’s already been busy updating crop, farm and cattle records, and researching strategies to better manage his land and livestock resources.
Sedar is a producer with a strong sense of giving back to the industry. He serves on the board of the Bonneville County USDA-Farm Service Agency, the Idaho Grain Producers Association, and is active in several other local, state and national farm and livestock organizations.
Sedar has helped many kids select, train and show their steer and heifer projects – at the same time teaching them about proper care of their animals. His tips are based on his own success with Idaho-bred Beckman cattle at the nation’s premier livestock events.
When a neighbor is in need, Sedar will be among those mobilizing help – often the first there with a shovel, pitchfork or combine.
Sedar is the grandson of EIAHF inductee Bonnie Stoddard, who nominated him for the award.
Sedar and Danna Beckman have one daughter, Winston.
MaCoy Ward, Dubois
Dubois and Terreton area farmer/rancher MaCoy Ward received the 2019 Ed Duren Memorial Young Producer Award at the Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame Reception & Banquet March 22, 2019. The EIAHF launched the award in 2018 to recognize an individual under 35 years of age who is actively involved in production agriculture and demonstrating initiative and leadership benefitting the Agricultural industry of Eastern Idaho.
Ryan Steele, Idaho Falls
Idaho Falls area cattleman, Ryan Steele, 26, will receive the first annual Ed Duren Memorial Young Producer Award at the Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame Reception & Banquet March 23, 2018. The award was launched by the Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame this year, to recognize an individual 35 years of age or younger who is actively involved in production agriculture and demonstrating initiative and leadership benefitting the Agricultural industry of Eastern Idaho.