Agricultural soy plantation on sunny day - Green growing soybeans plant against sunlight

Matt Garrett is Agriculture County Extension Agent for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Agency and he can be reached via email at Matt.Garrett@ag.tamu.edu or via phone at 903-935-8413.

This week is our 59th Annual Farm City Week Celebration.

To those that do not know this is our county fair for Harrison County. 4H and FFA members from all over the county will exhibit their livestock and Ag Mechanics projects. This great program builds character, integrity, responsibility and our future community leaders.

I have included in this week’s articles passages from former participants on what Farm City Week meant to them and how it ultimately impacted their lives.

What does Farm City Week mean to you?

“Depending on who you ask Farm City Week (FCW) can mean a variety of different things. Maybe you enjoy show day, hanging out with friends from other schools who you don’t get to see very often, or you enjoy the process that leads to show week. To me FCW is the state championship of my FFA career. As a former athlete I can relate it to the hard work I put in chasing a state championship ring. For countless months I would raise my livestock project to the best of my ability. Throughout the process I gained countless attributes that would eventually mold me into a better man. Preparing my projects for FCW allowed me to understand what it meant to work hard, be accountable, caring and above all how to be self-less. Day in and day out it was not easy as I had to balance school, a job and various sports but it prepared me to balance the many obstacles that comes in life. Just as every team cannot win the state championship ring every participant cannot win the buckle. Overall, I believe that was the most rewarding life lesson. Each year I could walk out of the ring no matter how I placed knowing that I put the effort and work in to make my project the best I could, to the best of my ability. If it wasn’t for FCW I may have never had the opportunity to raise my own show steers or hogs, because of this platform a newfound love and passion for livestock and agriculture had been ignited. Ultimately the love for agriculture led me to pursue a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture Business) from Southern Arkansas University. Currently I am still following my love and passion for agriculture as I am employed by Pilgrim Pride of Nacogdoches, Tx as a Broiler Technician. I am thankful for the opportunity that FCW allowed me to have. I personally will credit FCW and the road to show week for helping me become the man I am today.”

What does Farm City Week mean to me?

I started showing at Farm City Week when I was eight years old. Showing livestock and participating in 4-H and FFA was a huge part of my childhood. Once a year in the spring, all the hard work put in over a year paid off. Farm City Week was a chance to see friends, exhibit your projects and beg your mom to buy a cake at the auction. Unbeknown to me, this small county show was teaching me to love my community, to love the people that supported me, and to love East Texas.

When I graduated from high school in 2012, I attended college at Texas A&M. The monetary value of showing animals and competing in competition with 4-H and FFA became so obvious at that point. In addition to the money, I had made from selling my projects at Farm City Week over the years, I was also very fortunate to have been awarded scholarships. As I navigated through my undergraduate education, I never forgot the ones that had enabled me to be there in the first place. Whether it was selling the reserve champion steer in 2010 or selling one of the last hogs in the sale order in 2011, those buyers over the years helped put me through college. Making those people from my community, that had supported me over the years, proud was a huge motivator as a college student. So much so that I decided to pursue a professional degree. And so, my journey continued.

The attachment to my community that was fostered by Farm City Week and events like it have given me purpose. I can only hope to support the people and youth of Harrison County the same way that I was supported.

2021 Farm City Week Schedule

Tuesday

8-9:30 am: Broiler & Rabbit weigh in

9:30 am: Broiler Show

10:00 am: Rabbit Show

1-4 pm: Weigh in of all Swine, Lambs, Goats & Steers and Heifer check in

6:00 pm: Lamb Show directly followed by the Goat show (in large arena)

Wednesday

8:00 am: Swine Show

1:00 pm: Steer Show (in large arena) Jr. & Sr. Showmanship directly following the steer show Heifer show directly following showmanship.

Thursday all day at Bear Creek Smokehouse

8:00–9:00 am: Check-in and set up of Ag Mechanics projects

10:00 am: Judging of Ag Mechanics projects

4:30-6:00 pm: Dinner

6:00 pm: Scholarships & Speech contest presentation. Auction immediately following Immediately following the auction is the Release and Removal of all Ag Mechanics projects

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