John and Christine Augustine are the recipients of the 2007 Farmer of the Year Award from the Arizona Farm Bureau (AZFB).

The award was presented during the AZFB annual meeting on Nov. 8 in Carefree, Ariz.

The Augustine family manages two plant nurseries in Maricopa County, Ariz., and operates a ranch in Young, Ariz., plus have farm operations in Iowa.

John Augustine is the first person to hold a patent on plants in Arizona for developing the Desert Blaze and Phoenix Bird varieties, trees his nursery specifically developed for the Arizona climate.

John Augustine is a member of the Maricopa County Farm Bureau, the Arizona Nursery Association, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, and chairs AZFB’s farm labor advisory committee. He has also worked with the Arizona Department of Public Safety on the legal use of farm license plates and on the commercial driver’s license exemption for farm trucks.

The Augustine family has hosted legislators, including a tour of the family nursery earlier this year for Arizona’s state Sen. Barbara Leff and Rep. Sam Crump.

AZFB’s Farmer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who is innovative, a trendsetter, or who has shown exceptional leadership in Arizona agriculture.