Community & Culture

#RootedinAg Contest Winner Inspired by Her Grandmother

The 2020 #RootedinAg winner celebrates her grandmother’s lifetime of nurturing family members.

Hannah Borg, winner of the 2020 Thrive #RootedinAg Contest, shared a glowing tribute to her grandmother Lois Borg in a video that warmed the hearts of online voters and contest judges alike.

“Grandma is really the glue that holds our family together,” Hannah says.

Pam Caraway, communications lead at Syngenta and one of this year’s judges, further explains the appeal of Hannah’s winning entry, “It’s a story of devotion to faith, family and country,” she says.

Lois, 86, still lives on the farm near Wakefield, Nebraska, where she and her husband, Marvin, grew crops and raised four sons. Marvin passed away about 10 years ago, but their children and grandchildren continue the family’s farming tradition. Hannah, the eldest of 10 grandchildren, works on the farm while also pursuing other opportunities in agricultural communications — a field in which she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Family members know that on any day, they can count on Lois to have a full-course meal ready at noon. Hannah regularly joins her grandmother for those lunches.

“I’ve learned a lot about her and the history of the farm,” Hannah says.

During the years when she and her husband were raising their family, Lois helped in the field when needed. But her work around the home was equally important — cooking, canning vegetables, doing laundry and raising chickens. In addition to the farm income, egg money helped feed the family. Selling eggs was something she just quietly did.

“She didn’t want the attention,” Hannah says.


Telling ag’s story helps keep the family farm at the forefront of our national conversation.

Pam Caraway Communications Lead at Syngenta

Through her #RootedinAg video, Hannah shares her grandmother’s impact and contributions. “Grandma is the perfect mix of grace and grit,” Hannah says. “I’ve always admired how she lives her life and her role in our family.”

The #RootedinAg Contest celebrates ag’s heroes, Caraway says. “Telling ag’s story helps keep the family farm at the forefront of our national conversation,” she says.\

Part of Hannah’s prize package from Syngenta is a $1,000 donation to a local charitable or civic organization . She chose to have the donation made in her grandmother’s name to the Wakefield Heritage Organization, which manages both a library and a railroad museum.

The Borg donation is a big boost, says Barb Stout, who co-manages the Wakefield Heritage Organization. This is especially true because the organization was unable to hold its 2020 fundraisers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization will use the donation to help maintain buildings and support various projects, Stout explains.

Hannah says she chose the Wakefield Heritage Organization because it helps preserve the community’s roots. Communities such as Wakefield have endured because of the leadership and hard work of people like her grandmother, she explains.