By Julie Tomascik

Texas had a strong presence in the Young Farmer & Rancher competitions at the 98th American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz.

Marcus and Amy Halfmann of Garden City were named among the top 10 finalists in AFBF’s Achievement Award competition over the weekend.

The Halfmanns grow cotton, hay and wheat and raise cattle in the Midland area. They won Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher contest in December at TFB’s Annual Meeting.

Marcus has a custom farming business and Amy is a dietitian.

Marcus is the vice president of the Midland County Farm Bureau and has served as a state commodity conference delegate. The couple participates in numerous state YF&R activities.

Scott and Sara Holloway of Bowie were also named to the top 10 of AFBF’s Excellence in Agriculture (EIA) contest.

Scott is a sales representative for Alltech, an animal nutrition company. Sara is a mixed animal veterinarian at Cross Timbers Veterinary Hospital in Bowie.

Outside their day jobs, the Holloways, who won TFB’s EIA contest at the organization’s annual meeting in December, manage their cow-calf operation and grow hay.

The Holloways are active in their church and volunteer with the local 4-H, FFA and FFA Alumni chapters. Scott is vice president of the Montague County Farm Bureau and the couple participates in several county and state Farm Bureau events.

“The Halfmanns and Holloways represented Texas well at the national level,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “They are great examples of what it takes to be involved in agriculture and agribusinesses, and they still make time to be involved in their communities.”

A couple from Illinois took home the AFBF Achievement Award, and a couple from Virginia was named the winner in the national EIA contest.