Fueled by passion, young farmers and ranchers are cultivating a bright future for Texas agriculture. This year’s Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher finalists recognized by Texas Farm Bureau display that passion, drive and dedication.
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. The YF&R contest rewards the ambition, fortitude and dedication displayed by these individuals.
The 2019 Outstanding YF&R finalists are: Matt and Jessica Hanslik of Halletsville, Braden and Jordan McInnis of Tennessee Colony, and Jesse and Karri Wieners of Groom.
“We are proud of these young farmers and ranchers,” says TFB President Russell Boening. “They represent a bright future for Texas agriculture and the next generation of Texas Farm Bureau leaders. 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.”
Finalists are chosen from each of TFB’s 13 districts. A panel of volunteer judges visited the finalists on their farms. The state winner will be named at TFB’s Annual Meeting Dec. 7-9 in San Antonio.
Matt and Jessica have a crossbred cattle operation and raise purebred Charolais cattle. They also grow corn and hay. The Hansliks are part owners of an all-natural fertilizer company that recycles dry poultry litter from poultry layer facilities and provides custom application for farms and ranches. Jessica is also a regional sales manager for a local egg producer. They have two children.
Braden and Jordan grow corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans, grain sorghum, oats and hay, and raise cattle in Anderson and surrounding counties. Braden started farming in high school and has continued to expand his farm since then.
The couple also provides commercial spray applicator services and agricultural trucking in the area. They custom farm and have recently started clearing timber land in the area. Jordan is a high school agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor in Elkhart.
Jesse and Karri grow wheat, grain sorghum, alfalfa and cotton in the Texas Panhandle. They recently added a wine grape test trial and small vegetable farm to their business. They market the vegetables directly to consumers in their area. They also do custom harvesting and custom farming. This year, they added seed flower production to their family’s farm. Karri also owns a photography business. The couple has four children.
Prizes To Be Awarded
The winner of this year’s Outstanding YF&R contest will take home the title to a three-quarter ton, four-wheel-drive pickup with a diesel engine, sponsored by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies; and a $5,000 cash award, sponsored by Farm Credit. The two runners-up each will receive a $500 cash award, sponsored by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.
All three finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to the TFB Annual Meeting, Dec. 7-9, in San Antonio. The state winner will also represent Texas in the Achievement Award competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Austin, Jan. 17-22, 2020.
For more information about the Outstanding YF&R contest and other young farmer and rancher opportunities, visit www.texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.
The Texas Farm Bureau contributed this article.