Texas Farm Bureau announces Excellence in Agriculture finalists
(WACO, Texas)—For their dedication to agriculture and the way they serve their communities, three contestants have been selected as finalists in this year’s Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Excellence in Agriculture (EIA) competition.
The contest recognizes young men and women who are involved in agriculture but do not earn their primary income from a farm or ranch enterprise.
This year’s EIA finalists are: Cody and Erika Archie of Gatesville, Lee and Jennifer Brown of Cleveland and Jared Klatt of Bryan.
“Although they do not earn their primary income from a farm or ranch, our three finalists have shown their passion for Texas agriculture,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “They play a vital role in supporting Texas farmers and ranchers and their agricultural communities. We’re thankful for their hard work and dedication.”
The winner will be announced at the TFB annual meeting in Corpus Christi Dec. 6-8.
Cody and Erika Archie, 34 and 33 respectively, work on their 93-acre ranch and own Valet Cleaners and Laundry in Gatesville. They raise cattle and horses. Cody serves on the county ag industry committee, is the beef cattle superintendent at the county fair and volunteers with the local 4-H club. They also help host ranch rodeos. Cody and Erika have two children: Kylee and Clancy.
Lee and Jennifer Brown, 35 and 34 respectively, run a small commercial cow-calf operation with their daughter, Kaylee. Together, they actively advocate for agriculture at the county level through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the County Beef Improvement Association, the county fair association and the Montgomery County Farm Bureau.
Lee works as an instrument and control technician in the oil and gas industry while Jennifer is an administrative assistant for the Montgomery County Fair Association.
Jared Klatt, 30, is a certified crop advisor and co-manages a large agricultural full-service retail outlet for Crop Production Services, Inc., where he helps customers make agronomic decisions for their farming operations. He also provides a tangible agricultural experience to youth in a low-income urban middle school and works with Agrium’s Seed Survivor mobile classroom.
The EIA winner will receive a Polaris Ranger, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company (SFBLIC); a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit; a plaque and belt buckle representative of the award; and a $750 service voucher, courtesy of Chevrolet.
The winner also will receive an expense-paid trip to represent Texas at the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting Jan. 11-14, 2015 in San Diego, Calif.
The winner of the AFBF EIA award will get their choice of a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado or 2015 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM, and paid registration to the 2015 AFBF Engagement Conference Feb. 13-16 in Nashville, Tenn.
Three national runners-up will receive a Case IH Farmall 45A, courtesy of Case IH; a $2,500 cash prize; and $500 in STIHL merchandise, courtesy of STIHL. This year’s TFB EIA runners-up will receive: a power tool, courtesy of Grainger; a pair of Justin Boots, courtesy of Justin Brands, Inc.; and a cash award, courtesy of SFBLIC.