Garden City couple wins TFB Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher contest
(SAN ANTONIO, Texas)—Out in West Texas, one farming couple has planted their roots deep in the soil. And the desire to succeed has paid off for Marcus and Amy Halfmann of Garden City.
The couple was named the winners of the 2016 Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) competition at TFB’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio today.
“The Halfmanns have great passion and determination,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “The challenges of farming can be daunting, especially for young farmers, but it hasn’t stopped Marcus and Amy. They’re not afraid of hard work.”
The Halfmanns grow cotton, hay and wheat and raise cattle in the Midland area.
Compost is one way Marcus ensures the farm’s future. He keeps the gin trash from his cotton, turns it into compost and spreads it on his fields to enrich the soil.
It’s just one of the ways the farm works to be sustainable. The Halfmanns farm in ways that improve the land and conserve natural resources—practices that make sure the land will continue to grow crops for generations.
They have installed drip irrigation systems and use a drone to scout their crops.
Marcus also has a custom farming business.
Amy is a registered dietitian and consults with individuals, as well as local nursing homes and a head start program. She’s also a full-time mom, personal trainer and the farm’s bookkeeper.
For both, the years spent growing up between the cotton stalks sparked a passion for agriculture—one they enjoy sharing with their community.
The couple is involved in their church and volunteers with numerous organizations. Marcus is also vice president of the Midland County Farm Bureau. Together, they have participated on TFB’s Texas Agricultural Challenges Team, served as voting delegates on the state and national level and assisted with the Graham Farm Field Day.
The Halfmanns have a son, Byler; daughter, Blakley; and are expecting a third in May.
Other finalists in this year’s competition include Layne and Jamie Chapman of Vernon and Matt and Jessica Hanslik of Hallettsville.
“Young farmers and ranchers—like the Halfmanns, Chapmans and Hansliks—are working to make a difference in their communities and in Texas agriculture,” Boening said. “We had a great group of contestants this year, and we’re pleased to be able to recognize them all for their time and talents.”
As winners of the Outstanding YF&R contest, the Halfmanns will represent Texas at the national competition in January.
They’ll also receive: the title to a 2017 4x4 Chevrolet pickup with a diesel engine, courtesy of Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies; a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit; use of a Case IH Farmall series tractor for one year, courtesy of Case IH; and a $750 service voucher, courtesy of Chevrolet.
This year’s runners-up will take home: a $500 cash award, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company; a new pair of Justin Boots, courtesy of Justin Brands, Inc.; and a power tool, courtesy of Grainger.