Texas Farm Bureau names 2022 outstanding young farmers, ranchers
(WACO, Texas)—Young farmers and ranchers are cultivating a bright future for agriculture and for Texas. This year’s Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) finalists recognized by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) share a drive, dedication and passion for agriculture.
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 2022 Outstanding YF&R finalists are Jay and Francie Clark of Brownwood, Slayton and Abby Hoelscher of Wall and Bethany Wanoreck of Orange Grove.
The finalists were chosen from TFB’s district winners. A panel of volunteer judges visited the finalists on their farms. The state winner will be named at TFB’s Annual Meeting Dec. 2-4 in Waco.
“We are proud of these young farmers and ranchers. They represent a bright future for Texas agriculture and the next generation of Texas Farm Bureau leaders,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “The price of land, along with the costs of inputs and equipment, continue to increase, but these couples look for ways to be innovative and diversify their operations. We’re honored to recognize them for their dedication to Texas agriculture.”
Jay and Francie Clark
Jay and Francie Clark raise beef cattle and hair sheep, as well as operate a feedyard in Brown County. They also own a land improvement business and an event venue on the ranch—The Homestead at Clark Ranch.
The couple is implementing regenerative practices, emphasizing soil health, animal performance and improving ecosystem functions.
They utilize marketing programs like the Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) sheep standards and certification to maximize profitability.
Jay serves on the Brown County Farm Bureau board of directors and is also the county’s YF&R chair. He serves on TFB’s Sheep and Goat Advisory Committee and is a member of AgLead XV.
The couple is also active in numerous local boards and organizations.
They live in Brownwood with their three children.
Slayton and Abby Hoelscher
Slayton and Abby Hoelscher grow primarily cotton, along with wheat, corn, grain sorghum, peanuts and hay, in Tom Green, Haskell, Knox and Stonewall counties.
Slayton is a first-generation farmer whose passion for agriculture began with a small garden and grew into a thriving farming operation. Abby is a fifth-generation farmer who brought her agricultural experience and background to the operation.
The couple is implementing minimum tillage and no-till practices on their farms to enhance microbial activity and reduce soil erosion.
The Hoelschers previously represented District 6 on TFB’s YF&R Advisory Committee. Slayton serves on the Tom Green County Farm Bureau board of directors, and he is the county YF&R chair. They are both active in state YF&R events and county activities.
The couple lives in Wall, and they are expecting their first child early next year.
Bethany Wanoreck co-owns the farm with her husband, Travis. They grow corn, grain sorghum and cotton in Bee, Jim Wells and Nueces counties.
They implement minimum tillage and strip-till practices on their farms to help reduce soil erosion and increase organic matter.
They also provide custom planting and harvesting in the area.
In addition to farming, Bethany is the district nurse for Orange Grove ISD.
She and her husband represent District 13 on the TFB YF&R Advisory Committee. She is active in YF&R events and activities at the state and county levels, including the Nueces County Farm Bureau scholarship committee.
Bethany and Travis live in Orange Grove with their three children.
The winner of this year’s contest will receive a $60,000 member dealer voucher to be used at Ford, Case IH, Grasshopper, CAT or John Deere, courtesy of Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies; a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of 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 $500 cash award, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company; and an expense-paid trip to the TFB Annual Meeting.
The state winner will advance to compete in the national contest hosted by AFBF.
Information on the contest and TFB’s Young Farmer & Rancher program can be found at https://texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.
For more information about TFB’s Annual Meeting, visit https://texasfarmbureau.org/annualmeeting.
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Jay and Francie Clark
Slayton and Abby Hoelscher
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