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It’s back to school for a lot of high schoolers. Here’s an idea swap for the traditional high school class ring.

Holly Spangler, Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer

August 19, 2022

1 Min Read
custom belt buckles
BUCKLE: Jennifer Hale designed this belt buckle for her son, Trevor. She found a better cow silhouette on the company’s website and added the FFA emblem from a list of options. She put Trevor’s name on the back, just like a class ring would have it engraved inside. Jennifer Hale

With two boys in high school, Jennifer Hale needed a better idea than a class ring. Her own dad nearly lost his finger back in high school thanks to his class ring, and she didn’t want that for her farm boys, who are a big part of the family’s farming operation near Galatia, Ill.

Her solution: a class belt buckle, customized just like a class ring. It’s a fairly popular trend in Texas, and Hale found the idea on TikTok. She bounced it off her son Trevor and ordered a buckle to surprise him. He’s worn it every day since.

Hale ordered Trevor’s buckle from Cowboss Silversmiths and got it customized with the FFA emblem and a heifer silhouette. You can also upload custom logos, like your farm logo, or get the buckle entirely customized. Buckle prices start at $135 and take about eight weeks to produce.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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