NACOGDOCHES - The Forrest Lee Meador family will receive the Agriculture Family of the Year award sponsored by Tipton Ford, Inc. at the 11th Annual Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet, Monday, Apr. 2 at Banita Creek Hall.
“Along with poultry and cattle farming, the Meadors are also known for a tremendous support and facilitation of the National FFA Organization (also known as Future Farmers of America) in the county,” said retired Central Heights agriculture teacher Larry Poe, “and for a time, serving up the best fried catfish you could get in East Texas at the Meador Grocery & Catfish Restaurant.”
According to Poe, Forrest paved the way for students to attend FFA leadership camps in Texas and across the country. “Forrest sponsored a Meador Family Leadership Award in Nacogdoches and later in Central Heights,” he said. “He believed in the leadership programs to the point that he financially supported the scholarship that made it possible for students to go to a Washington D.C. leadership conference in the late ‘70s. Then more students were able to attend conferences through the ‘80s and 90’s. In the early years of 2000, he started the Meador Leadership Award at Central Heights, and it is still in effect there.”
Poe said that the Central Heights FFA will remember Forrest for his many contributions including not only providing the brisket for the annual FFA Banquet meal, but also for cooking it for them.
Forrest earned his American FFA degree - the highest degree possible in that organization.
The Meador family has been in Nacogdoches for approximately 100 years - with their homes within a 2-mile radius. They currently farm on 155 acres.
The poultry farming began with Forrest in 1966 and continues today with Michael. “We’ve raised broilers for five companies - Purina, Val-Mac, Holly Farms, Tyson and Pilgrims Pride,” Michael said. “The first farm began with two houses, the second farm started in ‘75 and has six houses, and the third farm also has six houses that were built in fall of ’97.
“The family owned commercial cattle through these years, producing calves, typically ranging from 30 to 60 cows,” he said.
Forrest was born in 1938 and died on Jan. 6, 2012. He attended Appleby school through 8th grade, high school at Nacogdoches and enrolled in SFASU for one semester. He was employed at NIBCO for 28 years, retiring from management. He served as director for the Deep East Texas Electric Co-op for 19 years. He owned and operated Meador Grocery and Catfish Restaurant for 14 years, from 1989 to 1999 and 2001 to 2005. He was named Lone Star Farmer in 1955 and American Farmer in 1956. He had been a member of Texas Farm Bureau since 1990.
Forrest and Pearl Rambin married in the summer of 1958, after Pearl’s graduation from Garrison high school. Married for 53 and-a-half years, Pearl managed the home, the broilers and was owner, operator and manager at the grocery and restaurant.
Michael, Pearl and Forrest’s only child, graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1979 and was an officer in FFA. He attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in poultry in 1983. He lived in the Austin area for seven years, working as arborists. He moved back to Nacogdoches in 1990 and became involved in the poultry farming. He is a director for Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau for 18 years, and president for 3 years. He is a member of the Nacogdoches County Beef Committee for AgriLife Extension, and a state poultry advisor for Texas Farm Bureau. He visited Japan and Taiwan for Texas Farm Bureau.
Michael and Stacey Stech married in 1992. Stacey has taught at Central Heights for 22 years. She serves as 4-H club sponsor.
Stacey and Michael have two children, Chase now 18 and Maci now 16. Chase graduated from Central Heights and is currently at Blinn College. Maci is a junior at Central Heights. Both held offices in FFA, are involved in 4H, shown animals in the Piney Woods Fair and shows in Houston and Ft. Worth. They have both shown in the Nacogdoches County steer show.
About the event - sidebar
The 11th annual Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet begins at 6 p.m., Monday, Apr. 2 at Banita Creek Hall, 401 W. Main St. Event chair is Angela Shannon, Agriland Farm Credit.
The keynote speaker is well-regarded humorist Sheriff J.B. Smith from Smith County.
Honors at this year’s banquet are the following:
- Farm Family of the Year: Forrest Lee Meador Family (Sponsor: Tipton Ford).
- Agriculture Pioneer: Dr. James Kroll (Sponsor: Heritage Land Bank).
- Agribusiness of the Year: Bright Coop, Inc. (Sponsor: First Bank & Trust, East Texas).
- Agriculture Educator of the Year: Dr. Leon Young (Sponsor: Citizens 1st Bank).
“The purpose of the event is to recognize the impact the agriculture industry has in our county, honor the people that stand out in our ag community and foster the future growth of the industry,” Agribusiness Committee Chairman David Alders said. “Scholarship funds will be awarded to deserving youth who are attending the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA, and this year’s award recipients will be honored.”
The banquet begins with a meet and greet at 6 p.m. Dinner service will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 each or $250 for a table of eight and are available now at the Nacogdoches County Chamber, 2516 North St. and from committee members. Businesses are welcome to sponsor tables to provide complimentary admission for youth ag groups.
Call the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 560-5533 for ticket and table reservations, or download a registration form from nacogdoches.org.
The Nacogdoches Agriculture Committee consists of representatives from Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp., Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Cooperative Extension Program, Pineywoods RC&D, Stephen F. Austin State University - Agriculture Department and the Texas Forest Service are proud to co-sponsor the Agriculture Banquet honoring the Agriculture Industry in Nacogdoches County.
In addition to the banquet, the committee has organized farm tours of the County for media and business representatives on Friday, Mar. 30. Contact Jamie Sugg or Crispin Skinner, 560-7711, for tour information and reservations.