The Lucky Ones

January 25, 2019Doug Peters, President and CEO

Someone once said, “Some of us grew up playing with tractors, and the lucky ones still do.” 

That same unknown source is likely also the one that said, “farmers and ranchers clock in at 5:00 am and never clock out.”  It’s a hard business keeping the world fed and clothed.  But thank God that West Texas farmers play an increasingly important role in making it happen.

Recent studies have shown that agriculture contributes nearly $1 billion in economic impact and employs more than 17,400 people in the Big Country region alone. Those are massive numbers. And, it takes a slew of folks supporting them through innovation, great products and services, education and training to keep Big Country Agriculture thriving.

I always look forward to this time of year, where we take a couple of days to celebrate the fact that agriculture is alive and well here in West Texas and is an industry that touches each one of us, directly, every single day of our lives.

That big picture is but one reason I get excited each year when we conduct the Texas Farm Ranch & Wildlife Expo (TFRWE), which is the single longest-running farm and ranch expo in the great state of Texas. I remember my first experience with TFRWE and how mesmerizing it was for me to experience the latest technology, some of the most awesome people, and all the shiny objects that go along with feeding and clothing people in all parts of the world.

TFRWE is the product of a lot of hard work by all the great people of the Chamber’s Agriculture Committee in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Taylor County, and it’s generously sponsored by Lawrence Hall Abilene. The show runs February 19 and 20, from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm the first day and 9:00 am – 3:00 pm the second at the Taylor County Expo Center. If you’ve not attended in the past, you don’t know what you’re missing – regardless of your affiliation with agriculture.

If fun, interesting (and shiny) farm and ranch products and services aren’t enough for you, you’re sure to benefit from some of the educational components of TFRWE.

Featuring an interactive session entitled “Ask an Ag Attorney,” the programs will also feature sessions on quail management, cotton production and the Town & Country Women’s Fair.

By now, you’ve heard about the Ag Scholarship Luncheon featuring renowned speaker, ag expert and autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin. Folks, this is an absolutely amazing story. You will not want to miss Dr. Grandin as she tells the story of being diagnosed with autism as a youngster, not speaking her first words until she was four years old, and how she went on to become one of the world’s foremost experts on cattle handling.

Dr. Grandin’s is a compelling story. I really hope I see you there.

If history repeats itself, we’ll see more than 3,500 people pass through the show. And while it’s nearly sold out, I understand we have a few exhibit spaces remaining. It’s a great way to showcase your ag and ranch-related product or service.

So, mark your calendars for both days – Tuesday and Wednesday, February 19 and 20 for the Texas Farm Ranch & Wildlife Expo at the Taylor County Expo Center and see for yourself what all the buzz is about. And while you’re at it, take a moment to thank a farmer!

Onward!
Doug

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