Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 14, 2012

McSpadden named Rotary Club 'Farmer of the Year'

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Chris McSpadden, 41, who runs The Refuge, a hunting and white tail deer breeding facility in Kerens, was named Farmer of the Year by the Corsicana Rotary Club Wednesday.

McSpadden grew up on his family’s farm in Blooming Grove, where he learned about agriculture by doing it. As a young man, he worked in the Kansas feed yards and then at Williams Gin in Frost.

After marrying Jody Sodd, Chris went to work for his father-in-law in the beef and dairy cattle businesses, as well as the wildlife operation.

“Chris quickly learned that there are business-minded farmers and ranchers and then there is Glenn Sodd,” according to a biography read aloud by Rotarian Kit Herrington Wednesday at the luncheon. “Glenn taught Chris to analyze every decision and weigh the pros and cons, to say a prayer and then sleep on it. This management-minded decision-making helped develop Glenn’s crazy deer deal into The Refuge.

“Together, Chris and Glenn transformed The Refuge into a profitable ranching business that continues to lead the industry in Texas and nationwide,” the biography stated.

In accepting his award, McSpadden said that when he told his father, Gerald, that he was being named farmer of the year that his father’s response was “Son, you ain’t no farmer.”

The younger McSpadden explained that the award is for agriculture professionals, and said he is honored and humbled to accept it.

“It’s a definitely challenging way of life and a way of life I love,” he said.

Jody McSpadden was given a silver platter, as well as a fruitcake and a coupon for an HEB turkey. The couple has three children, Will, 9; Annie, 5; and Jake, 4.

The Rotary Club has been honoring Navarro County agriculture professionals through the Farmer of the Year award since 1965. The list of nominees is prepared by the AgriLife Extension Office, and the winner is chosen by the Rotary Club.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com