Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 21, 2013

Give it to Jody!

Jackson named Joe B. Fulgham Agriculturalist of the Year at 50th annual Farm and Ranch Tour

Athens — The 50th annual Henderson County Farm and Ranch Tour concluded Tuesday with a luncheon on the floor of the Henderson County Fair Park Complex arena and the naming presentation of the Joe B. Fulgham Agriculturist of the Year.

The 25th recipient of the award was Jody Jackson of Murchison, whose farming and ranching operations started with a few cattle and some chickens then grew to one of the county’s most varied operations.

“It was a surprise to me,” Jackson said of the award. “They didn’t tell me anything about it. I thought my granddaughter was getting an award and I came to see her.”

Jackson now runs a commercial cow/calf operation raising Brangus heifers for sale to other ranchers. He also raises about 150 steers each year.

Jackson is always looking to improve the quality of the machinery he uses. He bought one of the first round hay balers in the county and has 21 Massey Ferguson tractors on his property.

Jackson has served as a trustee in the Murchison Independent School District, and was one of the first members of the Henderson County Beef Cattle Committee. He is a member of Ash Baptist Church.

The keynote speakers for the Farm and Ranch Tour were three former recipients of the award who span more than 100 years in Henderson County Agriculture.

Wendell Tackett, who was one of the originators of the tour, told of the transitions in the county to coastal Bermuda grass, and its impact on the cattle industry.

Gayle Finch followed by recounting the changes in his years as Henderson County Extension Agent from 1966 to 1992.

Rex Holmes, former District Conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service, concluded the speeches by saying he feels more at home on a tractor than with a microphone in his hand.

The master of ceremonies for the luncheon was Henderson County AgriLife Extension Agent Rick Hirsch.

Hirsch said Gayle Finch usually presides over the event, but got the day off because he was one of the speakers.

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