More than 300 people attended the Lamar County Farm Bureau annual meeting Thursday night at the Lamar County Fairgrounds, where those present dined on barbecue, won door prizes and celebrated the year’s achievements.
“Tonight’s attendance broke all records,” board member Paul Bayer said. “We have about 100 more than last year. We’ve talked about what we could do to get more people out, and I think what the staff is doing is working.”
“People come for the fellowship, the food and the barbecue,” Bayer said.
Ricky Murray of Murray’s BBQ, 5100 Highway 19 near Cooper, visited with folks after he and his crew sat up the food line where people were free to serve themselves brisket and sausage, cole slaw, pickles, beans and potato salad.
“We aim to please,” Murray said, as he assisted an elderly woman through the line. “I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, and I still enjoy getting out and meeting folks.”
About 40 door prizes handed out by staffer Tony Little as “entertainment” between meeting agenda items included gift certificates ranging from $25 to $100 in addition to Pioneer Woman kitchenware, including a couple of Instant Pot pressure cookers, along with a big screen color television.
Business items included a review of 2019 youth and county achievements by Bayer, a legislative report presented by board member Alan Weatherford, approval of board member attendance at the state convention Dec. 7-9 in San Antonio conducted by president Mike Winters, and a nominating committee report and vote conducted by David Basinger, which saw Austin Sugg added to the board of directors with those reelected including Butch Hufnagel, Mike Parsons, Mike Winters, Tony Whittle, David Nabors and Alan Weatherford.
Red River and Lamar counties agency manager Jason Coward, who presided at the meeting, reminded members the Farm Bureau is more than an insurance agency.
Insurance is just a small part of what the Farm Bureau does for its members, Coward said, as he told his audience of the legislative and advocacy work provided as well as informational services.
“We are growing in Lamar County,” Coward said, noting membership has grown by 237 during the past year from 3,405 to 3,642 and that Gregg and Lamar County battle it out as the top two counties in the state.