WACO, Texas — The seeds of a dream tended with much hard work and perseverance have one young farmer reaping the rewards. It’s a bountiful harvest for first-generation farmer Bethany Wanoreck of Orange Grove.
She was named the winner of Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 2022 Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Award at the organization’s 89th annual meeting in Waco today.
“Farming is never easy, but it can be even more difficult to break into as a first-generation farmer,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “Bethany is a determined young farmer who is working to make her dream in agriculture come true alongside her husband. We’re honoring their dedication with this award.”
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 to other farmers 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.
Together, Bethany and Travis are raising a family rooted in agriculture. Their three children—Wyatt, Brynlee and Taryn—help on the farm and are learning to love and respect the land.
The Outstanding YF&R contest recognizes farmers and ranchers between the ages of 18 and 35 for their hard work and dedication to agriculture, Boening noted. To be eligible for the contest, young farmers and ranchers must be TFB members and earn the majority of their income from production agriculture.
“In agriculture, you need perseverance and dedication,” Boening said. “This year’s contest highlighted some of the best young farmers and ranchers in our state who are innovative, resourceful and passionate. They’re determined to grow their future in agriculture, and their efforts were rewarded in our contest.”
As the winner of the Outstanding YF&R contest, Wanoreck 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.
Other finalists in this year’s competition include Jay and Francie Clark of Brownwood and Slayton and Abby Hoelscher of Wall.
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.
Wanoreck will go on to represent Texas in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Achievement Award competition.
The winner of the national Achievement Award will receive a $35,000 credit toward a new Ford vehicle and paid registration to the Farm Bureau YF&R Fusion Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
The national runner-up will receive a $25,000 credit toward a new piece of equipment from Case IH, courtesy of Case IH.
Third place in the national competition will receive a $2,500 Investing in Your Future cash prize, courtesy of AmericanAg; a Case IH branded safe, courtesy of Case IH; and $1,665 worth of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker.
The fourth-place national finalist will receive a Case IH branded Solo stove, courtesy of Case IH.
Information on the contest and other young farmer and rancher activities can be found online at texasfarmbureau.org/YFR.
–Texas Farm Bureau