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Role of a Rodeo Queen: Miss North Texas Fair Ashlyn Williams

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By Dani Blackburn

Photo courtesy Joe Duty Photography

The role of a rodeo queen is not for the faint of heart. Upon receiving the coveted title, a queen must serve as an ambassador to the sport of rodeo, be a role model for all who look up to her, and exude a passion for the agricultural industry.

Reigning Miss Rodeo North Texas Fair Ashlyn Williams makes it all look easy as the embodiment of a leader who actively works to keep the Western industry alive and thriving. With rodeo royalty in her blood, she has walked a path filled with her family’s Western values that have served her well as the current queen.

From the Beginning

The 22-year-old was born and raised in a rodeo family in Boyd, Texas. She is the daughter of Jim and Kim Welch, with a twin brother, Colton.

“I fell in love with horses very quickly. I spent summers on the back of a horse riding until I was told to get off,” Williams laughed.

Her love for animals and agriculture continued to grow in high school when she joined FFA. Through the FFA, she was able to put her passion to use by competing in events such as radio broadcasting, creed speaking, and horse judging.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

On the Road with Dave Alexander

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As 2024 begins to unfold and you find yourself looking for something fun to do, why not turn to one of the finest entertainment venues in Cooke County? That would be Butterfield Stage. That’s right, audiences have been entertained by the Butterfield Stage Players for more than 40 years. This wonderful community theater was formed back in 1979 when a few local residents decided to embark on creating a community theater. I believe the best entertainment is live entertainment. So don’t find yourself shut in with an old Hallmark movie or old reruns this year.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine.

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Country Lifestyles

Lacey’s Pantry: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Bake

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By Lacey Vilhauer

Ingredients:
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 ½ tsp dried basil, divided
12 slices Italian, sourdough or rye bread
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 ¾ cup 2% milk
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1 tsp basil until blended and spread onto 6 bread slices. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese and remaining bread slices. Butter exterior of all 12 bread slices. Arrange sandwiches in a greased 9×13 baking dish with at least 2-inch sides. Set aside.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Country Lifestyles

Agriculture’s Ties to Valentine’s Days

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By Dani Blackburn

February 14 has become known as the day of love, celebrated each year with loved ones exchanging roses, chocolate and gifts over candlelight dinners all in the name of St. Valentine. The true origin of the holiday remains a mystery but stems from both Christian and Roman backgrounds.

Today, the holiday pours millions of dollars into the country’s economy. While some tout it as nothing but a commercialized holiday for big business, the numbers prove it provides an economic boost. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers in the United States spent a whopping $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2023, the highest number reported since 2004.

Consumers were expected to spend an average of $192.80, but they were not only buying for significant others. They also shopped for friends, children’s classmates, teachers, coworkers, and more to make the day special for those they cared about, and none of it would be possible without agriculture.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2024 issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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