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Agriculture banquet scheduled, awardees announced
Posted 03 - 14 - 2011

Dr. F.E. “Ab” Abernethy – known for his musical talents as well as his dedication to the Lanana Creek Trail – is the keynote speaker for the 10th annual Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet set for April 4 at Banita Creek Hall. (Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

NACOGDOCHES - The 10th annual Nacogdoches County Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet is Monday evening, Apr. 4 at Banita Creek Hall, 401 W. Main St.

Keynote speaker is Dr. F.E. “Ab” Abernethy, former editor and executive secretary of the Texas Folklore Society and known around Nacogdoches as The Man Who Built the Lanana Creek Trail. Abernethy served in the Navy, taught English and folklore in higher education institutions including SFASU, traveled the world and is a respected writer and musician.

“He is a man with many interests, and Nacogdoches is the beneficiary,” chamber CEO/President Bruce Partain said.

“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 2011 agriculture award recipients are:


           The George Grigsby Family will receive the Farm Family of the Year Award sponsored by Tipton Ford.


           Ray Mize will receive the Pete Smith Agricultural Pioneer Award sponsored by Heritage Land Bank.


           Carrizo Wood Products will receive the Agribusiness of the Year Award sponsored by First Bank & Trust East Texas.


           Al Schmidt will receive the Agriculture Educator of the Year award sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank.

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.

“This year we have also created new sponsorships to help us finance future scholarships,” Alders said. “A $5,000 presenting sponsorship, $2,500 prime sponsorship, $1,000 choice sponsorship and $500 select sponsorship are available.” Austin Bank, Texas N.A. - Nacogdoches is a $500 sponsor.

Call the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 560-5533 for ticket and table reservations, or download a registration form from

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.

“We work together to promote agriculture and agricultural-related business in Nacogdoches County,” said Alders. “We identify economic development strategies and resources and establish relationships that result in growth in agri-business and agri-business research in Nacogdoches County – one of the top 10 agriculture producing counties in Texas.”

In addition to the banquet, the committee has organized farm tours of the County for media and business representatives on Friday, Apr. 1. Contact Chad Gulley or Crispin Skinner, 560-7711, for tour information and reservations.

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