Texas Farm Bureau names 2021 outstanding young farmer, rancher finalists
(WACO, Texas)—This year’s Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher contest finalists recognized by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) share a drive, dedication and passion for agriculture.
They plant seeds of faith, nurture their fields and pastures and care for their families. They also commit time to their communities, county Farm Bureaus and TFB.
Each year, TFB’s Outstanding YF&R 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, dedication and determination.
The 2021 Outstanding YF&R finalists are Travis and Kaylin Isbell of Florence, Travis and Bethany Wanoreck of Orange Grove and Austen and Rachel White of Vernon.
“These young farmers and ranchers represent a bright future for Texas agriculture and the next generation of Texas Farm Bureau leaders,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “They each look for ways to diversify and be innovative as they care for the land, their families and their communities. We’re honored to recognize them for their dedication to Texas agriculture.”
Finalists were chosen from TFB’s district winners. A panel of volunteer judges conducted interviews with the finalists via Zoom.
Travis and Kaylin Isbell
Travis and Kaylin raise commercial cattle and stockers, as well as a Dorper sheep flock. They grow grass hay and winter oats and have a custom hay business.
They implement no-till farming practices, along with the use of cover crops, to increase plant diversity and organic matter. They also utilize rotational grazing to help maximize their pastureland.
Travis manages two other ranches, and Kaylin is a part-time farm and ranch real estate agent.
Both are active in Williamson County Farm Bureau. Travis serves on the board of directors and is the county’s Young Farmer & Rancher chair. They represent District 8 on the TFB Young Farmer & Rancher Advisory Committee, and Kaylin serves as the committee chair. They are both active in Young Farmer & Rancher events, as well as other TFB events and activities.
Travis and Kaylin live in Florence with their two children, Trigg and Kyndal.
Travis and Bethany Wanoreck
Travis and Bethany are first-generation farmers who grow cotton, corn, grain sorghum and wheat. They also have a custom planting and harvesting operation.
The couple implements minimum tillage and strip-till practices on their farms to help reduce soil erosion and increase organic matter.
Bethany is also the district nurse at Orange Grove ISD.
The couple represents District 13 on the TFB Young Farmer & Rancher Advisory Committee. They are active in Young Farmer & Rancher events and activities, as well as local county Farm Bureau events. Travis has served on the Nueces County Farm Bureau board of directors for several years and is currently the vice president.
Travis and Bethany live in Orange Grove with their three children: Wyatt, Brynlee and Taryn.
Austen and Rachel White
Austen and Rachel have a cow-calf operation, run stocker cattle and grow hay, wheat and dryland cotton.
The couple focuses heavily on genetic traits to improve their cow-calf herd. They use value-added marketing programs while partnering with a program-specific feedyard to maximize their income by retaining ownership. Their cattle are Source and Age Verified, Verified Natural Beef and Global Animal Partnership-compliant.
In addition to farming and ranching, they provide custom spray and hay work.
Rachel is also an instructor and tutoring center coordinator at Vernon College.
The couple previously represented District 3 on the TFB Young Farmer & Rancher Advisory Committee. Austin also serves as the vice president of the Wilbarger County Farm Bureau board of directors and is the county’s Young Farmer & Rancher chair. They have been active in county and state Farm Bureau activities, including Young Farmer & Rancher events.
Austen and Rachel live in Vernon with their daughter, Macy.
The winner will be announced at the TFB Annual Meeting Dec. 3-5 in Corpus Christi.
The winner of this year’s contest will receive the title to a ¾ ton diesel pickup, sponsored by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies; a $5,000 cash award, sponsored by Farm Credit Bank of Texas; and expense-paid trips to the TFB Annual Meeting and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention.
Two runners-up will receive a $500 cash award, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and expense-paid trips to the TFB Annual Meeting.
The state winner will advance to compete in the national contest hosted by AFBF.
For more information on the contest and TFB’s Young Farmer & Rancher program, visit texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.