January 20, 2006
TFB Pioneers honored
Texas Farm Bureau is proud of its history of exceptional leaders who have volunteered to build the state's largest general farm organization over seven decades. The special group of peopleone from each of the organization's 13 districts and one staff memberwere honored by their peers as Farm Bureau Pioneers at the recent Texas Farm Bureau state convention. At the opening of the awards ceremony, TFB President Kenneth Dierschke said, "The founders of the Texas Farm Bureau had a vision that an organization of farm and ranch families could stand the test of time and the storms of controversy. These leaders witnessed their hard work become the reality of Texas' most effective farm and ranch organization. We are grateful for the past pioneers who placed us on the right path."
Since the first group in 1992, 182 pioneers have been honored. The 2005 Pioneers include:
R.B. Reynolds of Hartley County, District 1. A leader in Hartley County Farm Bureau for almost 60 years, Reynolds has served as president, vice president, secretary and treasurer and has held most of these offices several times. Reynolds represented Farm Bureau as chairman of the State Wheat Advisory Committee and the American Farm Bureau Federation Wheat Advisory board.
Neal Burnett of Hale County, District 2. A dedicated member of the Hale County Farm Bureau for almost 50 years, Burnett has served as its president and was a TFB state director from 1982-1988. He is also active on the county commodity committees, was chairman of the American Farm Bureau Labor committee, and a member of the TFB Labor committee for three years. Burnett won the state Soybean Growers contest in 1977, and helped organize the Lone Star Corn Growers Association of Texas in 1989. He is also a member of the Texas Corn Producers and Texas Grain Advisory boards. The Plainview Daily Herald named him the 1998 "Hall of Fame" recipient in agriculture.
Daisy Ann Pinkerton of Wise County, District 3. Pinkerton has been a leader in Wise County since she and her late husband, R.A. Pinkerton, joined the Farm Bureau in the 1960s. Pinkerton was active in county committees of membership and policy development. She helped with the Miss TFB Contest and served alongside her husband, who was the Wise County president for 20 years, as the county's "first lady."
Alton Adams of Ellis County, District 4. Adams has been a dedicated member of the Ellis County Farm Bureau since the 1950s. He has served as president, vice president, and is currently secretary. He is also active in a variety of Farm Bureau committees and has served on the state Resolutions Committee twice. Adams served on the committee that re-wrote the TFB by-laws calling for the election of the president at the end of the business session at the state convention and placing term limits on the state board of directors.
John Schuessler of Mason County, District 7. Schuessler helped organize the Mason County Farm Bureau in 1949 and was a charter board member. He is now chairman of the Policy Development Committee and has served on numerous other committees, including the TFB Resolutions Committee. Schuessler embedded in his family a desire to be involved in the Farm Bureau. He invests in the lives of young people through the Junior Livestock Show.
W. Ross Werlla of Fort Bend County, District 11. Werlla has been a dedicated member of the Fort Bend CFB for more than 40 years. He currently serves as vice president, and has served as president on three occasions and secretary-treasurer. Werlla has also been active on a variety of commodity committees and a Membership Drive volunteer. He was awarded "Honorable Mention" in the AFBF Farmer Idea Exchange Program for his Far Reach Spray Boom.
John Shuford of Starr County, District 13. John Shuford, a charter member of the Rio Grande City Farm Bureaua local chapter of the Starr County Farm Bureauhas served as its president several times and continues as an active member today. Though farming full time since 1952, he worked for the Soil and Water Conservation District and later served as its chairman of the board. While he was chairman, Buffel grass was introduced to South Texas, saving the industry for many ranchers of that era.
Sharon Elliott of McLennan County, TFB staff. The late Sharon Elliott served as secretary of the Public Relations Division for 19 years, after joining Farm Bureau in the Accounting Department. Before her untimely death at the age of 51 last year, Elliott helped develop relationships with reporters all over the state, adding value to the TFB public relations program. Elliott had a special relationship with many county Farm Bureau staff and leaders. She took great pride in helping county Farm Bureaus accomplish their goals. She was devoted to the Citizenship Seminar and served for many years as chair of the Employee Activity Committee.