Texas Farm Bureau announces 2021 Excellence in Agriculture finalists
(WACO, Texas)—Dedication to agriculture and their communities has earned one individual and two couples recognition in the 2021 Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Excellence in Agriculture (EIA) competition.
The finalists in this year’s contest are Chase Brooke of Anna, Jacob and Laura Henson of Lingleville and Heston and Stevie McBride of Lampasas.
TFB’s EIA award recognizes young men and women ages 18 to 35 who are involved in agriculture but do not earn a majority of their income from a farm or ranch enterprise.
“Agriculture needs farmers and ranchers, but we also need those who are in professional agricultural support roles, as well as those who advocate for agriculture outside their work life,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “These young men and women may not be farming and ranching full-time, but they are actively involved in continuing our state’s strong agricultural legacy.”
Finalists were chosen from TFB’s 13 districts.
Chase Brooke is the AgriLife Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Collin County, one of the fastest growing areas in the state. In this position, he provides education and research-based information to local farmers, ranchers and landowners to help them find solutions to challenges they face.
He also hosts workshops, educational outreach events and clinics to help connect local producers with the latest in management techniques, agricultural technology and local, state and federal regulations.
Brooke continues to help on his family’s ranch in Coryell County by controlling and managing invasive species, caring for livestock and helping plan for the future of the property.
He’s involved in the community by serving on local boards and organizations, including the Collin County Farm Bureau board of directors. Brooke attends numerous TFB events, including county events and Young Farmer & Rancher activities.
He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Anna.
Jacob is a gunsmith for Infinity Firearms, where he does blend, fit and final finish on their line of custom handguns. Laura is a visiting instructor in Agricultural Communications at Tarleton State University.
As an instructor, Laura uses her production agriculture background to share her experiences and inspire the next generation of agricultural communicators to increase the understanding of farm and ranch practices, agriculture’s role in sustainability and the need to do more with less.
Jacob and Laura are part owners in a commercial cattle herd and help operate Laura’s family’s farm, white-tailed deer ranch and silage harvesting business. They also own a small business marketing agency and a growing fruit and vegetable operation. They sell the tomatoes, squash, peaches, blackberries, peppers and other fruits and vegetables at area farmers markets. They also offer canned goods made from their produce.
Laura serves on the Erath County Farm Bureau board of directors and assists with county activities. The Hensons attend TFB events throughout the year, and they also represent District 7 on TFB’s Young Farmer & Rancher Advisory Committee.
They live in Lingleville and are expecting their first child in January.
Heston and Stevie work alongside each other in their agricultural business venture and on the ranch.
They are the owners and operators of AgroTech, an agricultural service business that provides liquid feed, custom hay services, herbicides, agricultural equipment rentals, dyed diesel and more to farmers and ranchers in the Lampasas area.
The small business helps meet a need in the community and surrounding counties.
Together, they manage a cow-calf operation. Heston trains horses and enjoys roping and showing at working cow-horse events.
They also work alongside Heston’s family to grow Kleingrass and coastal Bermudagrass hay for their cow-calf herd.
The couple is active in Lampasas County Farm Bureau, and Heston serves on the board of directors. They attend Young Farmer & Rancher activities and other Farm Bureau events.
The couple lives in Lampasas with their son, Hetch.
“Their dedication to share the story of Texas agriculture and commitment to ensuring agriculture plays a role in their lives is an inspiration to us all. Texas Farm Bureau is proud to honor these young people and recognize their contributions,” Boening said.
The winner will be announced at the TFB Annual Meeting Dec. 3-5 in Corpus Christi.
The winner will receive a UTV, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company; a $5,000 cash prize, sponsored by Farm Credit Bank of Texas; and expense-paid trips to both the TFB Annual Meeting and AFBF Annual Convention.
The two runners-up will receive a $1,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Bureau Bank; a $500 cash award, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and an expense-paid trip to attend the TFB Annual Meeting.
The state winner will advance to compete in the national contest hosted by AFBF.
For more information about the EIA contest and other young farmer and rancher opportunities, visit https://texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.