So, after some encouragement, I completed the very ominous application, which ended up being about 20 pages, including several "thought-provoking essays" I had to complete. I was selected as our district winner, and naned one of the top 3 state finalists. As a finalist, I participated next in a face-to-face interview in October at the Texas Farm Bureau headquarters.
Then, over the next month, I got the opportunity to be part of a big publicity program through Texas Farm Bureau to spotlit the 3 Finalists in the Excellence in Ag Contest (myself, County Agent Whit Wheems, and Armstrong Ranch manager Cody Fry) as well as the 3 finalists in the Young Farmer and Rancher Contest. Farm Bureau came and visited Ranch House Designs and V8 Ranch, and spent a day with us filming video and takign pictures of our staff. It was kinda different being filmed on video, but in the end, the video turned out great!! ( You can see my video here!!!)
In December, me and fellow RHD staff member Emily Forgason attended the state Farm Bureau convention in Ft. Worth to find out who the lucky winner of the contest was going to be. I had an awesome time at this convention, even though I didn't end up winning the state contest. I wasn't really expecting to win though, because I knew Cody Fry was an excellent contestant with a lot of Farm Bureau experience and I figured he would win. And....he did!!! Cody and I were friends while we were both at Texas A&M and I was so happy for him.
And, even more exciting, another friend and fellow Aggie was selected as the state winner of the Young Farmer and Rancher Contest.....Courtney and Ernie, excuse me ERNEST, Bailes!! This family operates Repro Select, an ag-business, and they also have cattle. They are a great example of a young ranching family who loves agriculture and shows that you can be a huge success as long as you have work ethic...and a dream! Emily and I were super happy for the Bailes as they won a FREE PICKUP TRUCK! After they won, Courtney informed us that their current vehicle was in the shop, so the new truck would come in real handy!
So, if you're a young person involved in farming or ranching, take a look at the Texas Farm Bureau program for Young Farmers and Ranchers. This was an experience I will never forget.
My video is here: Excellence in Ag Video
Here are some snapshots from the trip!
Me and Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke’s. For being a state finalist I rec'd this DeWalt Cordless Power Tool, which I immediately gave to the V8 Showbarn for their use, and a pair of Justin boots.
Emily at the convention. We had to take this photo to proove to her teacher that she did, in fact, attend the convention.
A sample photo of our fun night in Cowtown! We went to the Stockyards, had dinner, and walked around and looked at all the shops. The Christmas decorations were awesome! Emily got so tired from walking that she saddled up on this Longhorn steer and rode around.
Here is another photo from the Stockyards. It's out of focus but the funny thing is we didn't know this little girl in the photo. We had stopped and asked a random person in the Stockyards to take our picture, and when she did, this little girl ran and got in the photo with us! ha ha
And finally here is me and the BIG winner, Ernest Bailes, who won the Young Farmer and Rancher Contest and won a free pickup truck.