Texas Farm Bureau’s 500,000th member family is ‘new Texan’
Marty and Jean Antholzner are not native Texans. Put them in the category of Texans who “got here as fast as they could.” They are “new Texans,” natives of upstate New York. They also pushed the membership of their organization, the Texas Farm Bureau, over the half million mark for the first time.
“It’s awesome,” Marty said. “A phone call I wasn’t expecting.”
Marty grew up on a farm in upstate New York, an experience that he and Jean have re-created on their small acreage in Coupland, Texas. Lee-Bastrop County Farm Bureau President Mike Organ came by to present a Texas Farm Bureau sign and a membership award to Marty and Jean.
It was a member service program that brought the Antholzners into Texas Farm Bureau. A new tractor required insurance service and the dealer recommended the Farm Bureau affiliate.
Since then, Marty has been reading Farm Bureau publications, learning about water and other issues and enjoying the rural lifestyle he and Jean have embraced.
Marty is in construction sales and Jean works with life skills students. She brings her farm project—chickens and eggs—into the classroom.
“We actually have chicken eggs in the incubator that are due to hatch,” she said. “So I wrote a book on the progress of an egg hatching. The students are getting very excited.”
Marty wants to raise Lowline Angus, a smaller version of the breed, and has a pair of them.
“We did some research and found that these little Lowline Angus are easy to handle and we’re giving it a go,” he said.
Texas Farm Bureau counts memberships every year. The Antholzners were a renewal. It almost didn’t happen. Marty mailed the dues check in the envelope provided, not realizing he had reversed the mailer so that his own name was in the window. He mailed it to himself. So, he did it all again, and came in as number 500,000.
The Antholzners were not the first to discover that membership in Texas Farm Bureau has value. In fact, they were the half millionth family to do so—this year.
For high-resolution photos from the recognition of the 500,000th TFB member, click on the photos below.