A local couple have won a top statewide award as the 2013 Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award.

Stephen and Amanda Matthews of Clinton won the award Dec. 5 at Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 79th annual convention in Little Rock.

The award was created to recognize Farm Bureau members, 18 to 35 years of age, who are engaged in agricultural activities but derive a majority of their income from non-agricultural sources. Participants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

The couple raises cattle, stocker calves and exhibition pigs. They have four children: Brily, 12, Lanie, 9, Wyatt, 6, and Cord, 3. Stephen is the vocational agriculture instructor for Shirley School District. Amanda is a stay-at-home mom who is active in 4-H.

For their achievement, the family will receive a John Deere lawnmower, courtesy of John Deere Inc. and Arkansas John Deere dealers, and a John Deere 4X4 Gator, provided by Farm Credit and Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. of Arkansas.

They will represent Arkansas at the national contest in San Antonio.