Calhoun County couple named ‘outstanding’ farmers by Texas Farm Bureau
(FRISCO, Texas)—Raising champions and paving the way for the next generation has one couple bringing home more than just banners and ribbons.
Cassidy and Hailey Hayes were named the winners of Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 2023 Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Award at the organization’s 90th Annual Meeting in Frisco.
“Young farmers and ranchers like Cassidy and Hailey are cultivating a bright future for agriculture and for Texas,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “This couple shares a drive, dedication and passion for agriculture, and we are proud to recognize their hard work and commitment with this award.”
The couple grows corn, cotton and soybeans in Calhoun and Victoria counties.
They have a large swine operation that is primarily used to produce show pigs for 4-H and FFA members. They sell about 850 show pigs each year to youth exhibitors from California to Georgia. They also sell boar semen to other pig producers and raise American-cross cattle.
In addition to their farm, Cassidy is a corn seed dealer with customers spread across several counties in the Coastal Bend.
Hailey is the Agriculture and Natural Resources County AgriLife Extension agent in Calhoun County where she oversees livestock and agricultural projects. In her role, she assists farmers, ranchers and youth within the community. Hailey was previously an agricultural science teacher for 11 years.
Together, they are raising their son Revyn and sharing their passion for stock shows and farming. Cassidy and Hailey are committed to growing their business and helping youth find their path in agriculture.
The couple is also active in Calhoun County Farm Bureau. Cassidy serves as the Calhoun County Farm Bureau president, and Hailey was a member of AgLeadXV, TFB’s premier agricultural leadership program.
“This year’s contest highlighted some of the best young farmers and ranchers in the Lone Star State,” Boening said. “Each couple looks for ways to be innovative and diversify, while also caring for the land. We are proud of these young couples for their work in agriculture and involvement in Farm Bureau.”
The Outstanding YF&R contest recognizes farmers and ranchers between the ages of 18 and 35 for their hard word and dedication to agriculture, Boening noted. To be eligible for the contest, young farmers and ranchers must be TFB members and earn the majority of their income from production agriculture.
As winner of the Outstanding YF&R contest, the Hayes’ will receive a $60,000 member-dealer voucher to be used at Ford, Case IH, Grasshopper, CAT or John Deere, courtesy of TFB Insurance Companies; and expense-paid trips to the TFB Annual Meeting and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, UT.
Other finalists in this year’s competition include Jay and Francie Clark of Brown County and Kade and Morgan Hodges of Coke-Sterling County.
The two runners-up will receive a $500 cash award, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company; and an expense-paid trip to the TFB Annual Meeting.
The couple will go on to represent Texas in AFBF Achievement Award competition.
The winner of the national Excellence of Agriculture award will receive a $35,000 credit toward a new Ford, courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
The national runner-up will receive a $25,000 credit toward a new piece of equipment from Case IH, courtesy of Case IH.
Third place in the national competition will receive a $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize, courtesy of AmericanAg; and $2,500 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker; and a Case IH branded safe, courtesy of Case IH.
The fourth-place national finalist will receive a Case IH branded Solo Stove, courtesy of Case IH.
Information on the contest and other young farmer and ranchers activities can be found online at texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.