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Farm & Ranch

Texas FFA State President Isaac Hawkins, Jr.

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FFA is an organization made up of state associations, and at the helm of the Texas FFA is a team of 12 officers representing their respective areas within the Lone Star State. These individuals dedicate a year of their lives as they serve members, provide leadership, and work together with the state staff and board of directors to develop policy and lead the organization of over 177,000 members.

North Texas is represented by Area IV and Area IV, stretching from Wilbarger County to Bell County and from Runnels County to Grayson County. This year, those chosen to lead this great area are State President Isaac Hawkins Jr., Area IV, and State Vice President Weston Parr, Area V.

These young leaders share a drive to give back to the organization that has given to them as they work to support FFA members while preparing for a future in the agricultural industry.

From the 12 selected representatives, delegates elect a president and first vice president, with the remaining 10 serving as vice presidents from their respective area associations. The selection process consists of a popular vote by delegates at the state convention, which accounts for 40 percent of the decision, and a committee process that includes a written knowledge exam, worth 10 percent, and an interview, accounting for 50 percent. This year, after all was said and done, Hawkins was named this year’s Texas FFA President.

Hawkins grew up as part of a large, blended family with five sisters and three brothers. While he says he did not grow up in agriculture, his youth was spent outside fishing and doing all things outdoors with his father, whom he calls his best friend. As he entered Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls, Hawkins knew he wanted to be a vet but was unsure of what courses to take to set himself on that path.

“I signed up for ag principals just because they had animals in the description. The first day of class we talked about churning butter, and I went to my school counselor that same day and told her to change my schedule immediately, but she refused. She made me stay there,” Hawkins laughed. “Luckily, I had an incredible ag teacher, and she really helped me to fall in love with the program.”

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

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Farm & Ranch

Ranch Biosecurity

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

With beef, pork, and poultry exports playing a vital role in the economic health of livestock operations, producers need to understand the dangers that foreign animal diseases and other diseases may have on the viability of their operations.

The recent discovery of Influenza A H5N1 virus in dairy cattle demonstrates the vulnerability of livestock operations to disease events. Sick animals are not the only consequence of a disease outbreak. The economic cost associated with disease can be high. Also, in foreign animal disease outbreaks, export markets can be temporarily lost. Currently, Columbia has restricted fresh/frozen beef and beef products from states with dairy herds testing positive for Avian Influenza. The best defense against these threats is a good biosecurity plan.

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

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Montana

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In Montana, June brings irrigating, brandings, and some wondrous sights from Mother Nature.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Wyoming

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By Tressa Lawrence

Happy June from the lands of Wyoming!

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