WACO, Texas — Dedication to agriculture, their community and their families earned three agricultural professionals recognition in this year’s Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Excellence in Agriculture (EIA) competition.
The finalists in this year’s contest are: Justin and Kacy Mitchell of Tyler, Jarrod and Kassie Montford of Bridgeport and Ardy Tiner of Rusk.
TFB’s EIA award recognizes young men and women who are involved in agriculture but do not earn their primary income from a farm or ranch enterprise.
“Texas agriculture is diverse. It takes small and large farms and ranches, as well as businesses that support agriculture,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “The Mitchells, Montfords and Ardy Tiner exemplify that diversity, and they play an active role in their communities. They have a passion for agriculture and determination to succeed. That is a benefit for all of Texas agriculture.”
Finalists were chosen from TFB’s 13 districts. The Mitchells, Montfords and Tiner were chosen as state finalists from that group.
Kacy Mitchell is a rental equipment sales representative for ASCO equipment in Tyler, where she works with the agricultural and construction industries. Justin Mitchell is a lease operator for XTO Energy. They raise Brangus-cross cattle and grow hay. They also operate a pecan orchard and have grown watermelons in recent years. The couple is working to make their land more productive by clearing timber and planting grass. They are active with the Smith County Farm Bureau, where Kacy serves as vice president. The Mitchells have one son, Coulter.
Jarrod Montford owns Montford Cattle Service, which specializes in artificial insemination and embryo transfer, and he is an independent contractor for Genex. He’s recently started teaching artificial insemination classes, certifying nearly 100 students this summer. Kassie Montford is an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor at South Grand Prairie High School. They also raise commercial cattle and show cattle on their ranch in Bridgeport. The couple is active in Texas Farm Bureau, where both are members of the AgLead XIII class, the organization’s leadership program for young farmers and ranchers. Kassie is also on the Dallas County Farm Bureau board of directors.
Ardy Tiner is an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor at Rusk High School. In his 10-year career, Tiner has seen the positive impact agriculture can have on today’s youth. But Tiner’s role isn’t limited to the school campus. He also serves on the Cherokee County Farm Bureau board of directors, Go Texan Committee and on the Rusk Volunteer Fire Department. He and his wife Brandi also have a herd of registered Brangus cattle. They have one daughter, Kinley.
The winner of the EIA contest will be announced at the TFB Annual Meeting in Frisco Dec. 2-4.
The EIA winner will take home a UTV, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit Bank of Texas.
This year’s EIA runners-up will receive $500 cash, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and a power tool valued up to $200, courtesy of Grainger.
All three finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to the TFB Annual Meeting.
The state winner will also represent Texas in the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting Jan. 5-10 in Memphis, Tenn.
–Texas Farm Bureau
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