Don Smith, President of the Hopkins-Rains Farm Bureau Board, welcomes members to the 60th
Annual County Convention Banquet.
Hopkins-Rains Farm Bureau Hosts
60th Annual Membership Banquet
by: Bobby McDonald
It was plates of BBQ brisket, sausage, and all the trimmings, as well as delicious homemade desserts that awaited members of the Hopkins-Rains County Farm Bureau, as they made their way to the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, on Tuesday night, for the annual Membership Banquet. And, it was a special celebration as the organization was celebrating its 60 year anniversary. The local agricultural service organization was founded in Hopkins County in 1952.
Another reason for celebration was when county board president, Don Smith, announced that the organization had almost 5,000 members in the two Northeast Texas counties. "The membership year will end at the end of this month and we're confident that we will have reached that 5,000 members by that time," denoted Smith. "We only lack 25 or 30 members reaching that goal, now!"
Smith told the members that the organization was the largest membership organization of any kind in both Hopkins and Rains counties.
Special guest for the evening was Dan Shelton, the District 5 representative on the State Farm Bureau Board, from Bowie County, near Texarkana.
During the business session of the meeting, members re-elected directors Mark Sustaire and Jerry Gibby to three year terms on the county board. And, approved a series of resolutions to advance to the State Farm Bureau Resolutions Commitee, to be added to State Board Policy. Among those resolutions was the support of term limits for state and U.S. Congress, an approval of the National Beek Check-Off Program, and the creation of a Texas state Beef Check-Off, that would help fund a shortfall in the beef promotional board, caused due to less cattle being marketed following two years of critical drought in the State of Texas. In explaining the resolution, Smith told the membership that so many beef "mama cows" went to market and slaughter, last year that the funding for the Beef Board was experiencing a shortfall in budget of some $1 million, for the upcoming year. "Folks, we have a great staff of people that are working to promote beef consumption and has been extremely successful in the past years, and we would hate to lose these people and the progress that they've made," related Smith. "By creating a state beef check-off, we can fund the shortfall and continue to market Texas beef, as it needs to be marketed!"
Throughout the evening, a series of door prizes, donated by individual businesses, Farm Bureau Board members, and Farm Bureau staff, were awarded to some 100 members present!
Smith also outlined for the membership a number of the programs that are funded on the local level, by the local organization, including:
Payment to local Volunteer Fire Departments in 2011 for their extra efforts in fighting wildfires during the 2011 Drought.
Over $750.00 in donations to Hopkins and Rains Counties Meal-A-Day Programs.
A $1000.00 donation to the Hopkins County Veterans Memorial, in support of all those Farm Bureau members past and present who have served their country.
Sponsorship of the NETLA Buyers Luncheon, in support of the annual Market Show.
The purchase of youth projects in both the NETLA Show and the Rains County Fair.
Sponsorship of the Ag in the Classroom Program that services over 800 4th graders in Northeast Texas area, by teaching them about agriculture.
And, a number of other programs throughout the year, promoting the educational and promotional advantages of agriculture.
Tuesday night's 60th Anniversary Banquet adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.