Three young farmers, ranchers honored by Texas Farm Bureau
(WACO, Texas)–For their service to rural Texas and their performance as agricultural producers, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) is recognizing three young farmers and ranchers as finalists in this year’s Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) competition.
Each year, TFB recognizes the accomplishments of some of the state’s top agricultural leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 through the YF&R contest.
The 2015 Outstanding YF&R finalists are: Galen Franz of Victoria; Timothy and Lindy Gertson of Lissie; and Marcus and Amy Halfmann of Garden City.
“These young men and women work hard. They love the land. And they serve both Texas Farm Bureau and their communities with devotion,” TFB President Russell W. Boening said. “We’re proud to honor them for their passion and drive to provide food, fiber and fuel to families across the world.”
Finalists are chosen from each of TFB’s 13 districts. Franz, the Gertsons and the Halfmanns were chosen to move on as finalists from that group.
A panel of volunteer judges has visited each of their farms. The state winner will be named at TFB’s Annual Meeting Dec. 5-7 in Arlington.
Franz, 35, and his wife Leslye, 36, grow rice, Napa cabbage, hay and wheat in Victoria County. They also raise Brahman-Charolais mix cattle. The couple has three children: Kate, 6; Claire, 4; and Lexi, 1.
Timothy and Lindy Gertson, 30 and 29 respectively, grow rice, organic corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat in Wharton County. Lindy is a registered nurse and works at their community hospital. The couple has two boys–Jacob, 4, and Nathan, 2–and they are expecting a third son in February.
Marcus and Amy Halfmann, 31 and 28, grow long and short staple cotton, sesame, wheat and hay in Midland County. They also raise cattle. Marcus also has a custom farm business and utilizes cotton burrs, or gin trash, to create his own compost. Amy is a dietitian who works at her children’s Mothers’ Day Out program. The Halfmanns have a son, Byler, 4; and daughter, Blakley, 2.
The winner of this year’s Outstanding YF&R contest will take home: the title to a 2016 ¾ ton 4x4 Chevrolet pickup truck with a diesel engine, courtesy of Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies; a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit; use of a Case IH Farmall or Maxxum series tractor for one year; a $750 service voucher, courtesy of Chevrolet; and a plaque representative of the award.
The two runners-up will receive: a plaque representative of the award; a new pair of Justin Boots, courtesy of Justin Brands, Inc.; a power tool valued at $200, courtesy of Grainger; and a $500 cash award, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.
All three finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to the TFB Annual Meeting Dec. 5-7 in Arlington.
The state winner will also represent Texas in the Achievement Award competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. in January.