Since its establishment in 1992, the Texas Heritage Hall of Honor has recognized distinguished members of the Lone Star state who have paved the way for the future, specifically through their contributions to the agricultural heritage of our great state. Inductees consist of Texas trailblazers, both past and present, whose achievements stand unparalleled in the world of agriculture. From education advocates and cattle ranchers to creative innovators and passionate legislators, Heritage Hall of Honor members embody the spirit of Texas and represent a lifetime of legacy.
Hoover Carden, Edward L. Cline, Jim L. Peterson, Charles William Post, and Bob Stallman have been named the 2014 Texas Heritage Hall of Honor recipients. The new members join 65 honorees acknowledged throughout the previous years.
Recognized for his contributions in both agriculture and education, Hoover Carden was a visionary whose legacy still remains a prominent part of the Texas community. The Fairfield native served nearly 40 years with the Texas Agriculture Extension Service and Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program. Aiming to reduce the declining number of African American land owners, Carden specialized in working with limited-resource families and small farm owners. His efforts also helped revive the educational system within African American land-grant colleges.
An activist in land management and agricultural education, Edward L. Cline served as the Landowners Association of Texas president and the chairman of Harris County Appraisal Board Panel. Cline played a significant role in reducing property loss among African American landowners, as well as supporting student agricultural projects. His passion for the education system is evident in his service, as he was a monitor for the Texas Education Agency and worked in his native city as the assistant superintendent for Houston Independent School District.
Jim L. Peterson of Corpus Christi is known for his long-standing role in the food industry and remains an active leader in the foodservice business today. Serving as president and CEO of Whataburger, Inc. for 23 years, Peterson represented one of the largest beef producers in the nation, and the only fully-integrated foodservice company to utilize beef cattle in every step of the production process. The avid cattle rancher was previously the president of the National Restaurant Association, and currently works as a director for both Blimpie International, Inc. and Back Yard Burgers, Inc.
A legend in the prepared-food industry, agricultural pioneer Charles William Post was responsible for inventing farm machinery tools, such as the plow blade, cultivator, hay stacker and seed planter. After founding Postum Cereal Company in 1894, the innovator worked to establish Post City, Texas, a self-sufficient agricultural community. A leader in agribusiness, Post held the position of president of the American Manufacturers Association. In addition to his achievements in food production, Post built Postex Cotton Mills and formed the Double U Company, both located in Garza County.
Representing the country’s largest general farm organization, Bob Stallman is the first Texan to be elected president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Recognized by the Texas House of Representatives and Texas State Senate as a “champion of agriculture,” Stallman has been instrumental in proposing improvements to our current farm policy and advocates for economic issues such as decreased regulation of the agricultural industry. The Columbus resident is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Texas Farm Bureau’s highest honor – the Distinguished Service Award, as well as the 2009 Texas A&M “Friend of Agriculture” award.
The State Fair of Texas is a celebration of Texas culture, and there is no better way to learn about agriculture and Texas heritage than by taking a walk through the Livestock barns. The State Fair is committed to agriculture and education as its foundation, so it is no surprise that the livestock program has served as a pillar of the organization since the first State Fair in 1886. The program consists of the prestigious Pan American Livestock Exposition, plus open and youth livestock shows. More than 5,200 students and 7,500 exhibitors participate each fall.
In order to build on its growing agriculture and education programs, the State Fair of Texas is currently finalizing funding for the new Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center, for which construction is expected to begin in 2015. The 55,000-square-foot facility will greatly expand the scope of livestock and agriculture activities during the annual State Fair of Texas while attracting new shows, meetings and conventions to Fair Park throughout the year.
The new Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center is needed for safety and aesthetic reasons, but more importantly for the young Texans who exhibit the animals they have raised. They represent the future of agriculture in Texas, and offering them encouragement, financial support and scholarships will reinforce their commitment to careers in the multifaceted industry that is agriculture.
The Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center will become the center of attention for all agricultural activities at the State Fair of Texas. Two families dedicated to agriculture and to the State Fair, the Briscoe and Carpenter family names are befitting a building to be the center of the new agriculture facilities at Fair Park in Dallas. Namesakes Governor Dolph Briscoe, Jr., along with John W. Carpenter, Sr. and Ben H. Carpenter are all Texas leaders, lovers of the land, and enshrined members of the Texas Heritage Hall of Honor.
For more information about the new Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center, and to learn about support or other naming opportunities, contact George Shafer at 972.735.9405.
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About the State Fair of Texas
Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a non-profit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers. The 2014 exposition runs September 26 through October 19 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.