Farm Progress

Ag Appreciation Luncheon offers opportunity to honor farmers and ranchers

Ron Smith 1, Senior Content Director

March 16, 2016

<p>harvest season is a great time to visit a farm.</p>


Last week I was honored and more than a bit humbled to have been invited to speak at the annual Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Appreciation luncheon. At the suggestion of my good friend Mary Jane Buerkle, Plains cotton Growers, I included quite a few photographs, taken over the last few years, in a PowerPoint presentation, to help illustrate some of the things I admire most about farmers and ranchers. The photographs also gave me an opportunity to tip my hat to some of the wonderful subjects who have invited me onto their farms, into their homes and onto their combines and cotton harvesters while they told me about their cropping practices, farm history, challenges and celebrations.

I was a bit nervous at first. In the audience, at the Bayer Agricultural Museum in Lubbock, were some of the top leaders in Texas agriculture and some of the people I admire most in this industry. The Mayor of Lubbock, a State Senator, candidates running for various offices, and representatives of some of the most important industries—including agriculture support—in the High Plains also attended.

It was a good day. I got to explain why I love my job and describe the reasons I believe agriculture remains the most important industry in the country. I used to think I wanted to be football coach. I think this is better.

This week we celebrate National Agriculture Day, and thought we would share with Farm Press readers some of those images.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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