Texas Farm Bureau announces Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher finalists
WACO, Texas—Three family men with a true passion for agriculture and a desire to diversify their operations have been selected as finalists in this year’s Texas Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) contest.
The competition recognizes the accomplishments of some of the state’s top agricultural leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 and rewards them for their hard work and determination to succeed.
The 2012 Outstanding YF&R finalists are: Darrell and Lindsey Bowers of Inez; Brandon and Elyse Patschke of Lubbock; and Sam and Shannon Sparks of Harlingen.
“We are very proud of these three men and their families,” said Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke. “They each represent a bright future for Texas agriculture and the next generation of Texas Farm Bureau.”
The finalists were chosen from all 13 Texas Farm Bureau state districts with the top three advancing to the state competition. The winner will be named at the Texas Farm Bureau annual meeting in Waco in December.
Bowers, 30, raises and harvests catfish near Inez. He also grows corn, cotton and milo. He and his wife Lindsey have one son and are expecting a second soon.
Patschke, 33, grows cotton, wheat, alfalfa and grain sorghum just east of Lubbock where he also raises club calves and commercial cattle. He and his wife Elyse have two daughters and a son.
Sparks, 32, grows cotton, corn, grain sorghum, sugarcane and soybeans on his farm near Mercedes. He also raises Brangus and Brahman cattle. He and his wife Shannon have one daughter.
The winner of this year’s Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher Contest will take home: a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit; the title to a 2013 ¾ ton 4x4 Chevrolet pickup with a diesel engine, courtesy of Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies; a Case tool box valued at $1,400, courtesy of Case IH; and a plaque and belt buckle representative of the award.
The two state runners-up and their spouses will receive: a new pair of Justin boots, courtesy of Justin Brands, Inc.; a power tool valued at $200, courtesy of Grainger; and a plaque and belt buckle representative of the award.
All three finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to the Texas Farm Bureau annual meeting in Waco, Dec. 1-3.