AG News '09
Sterling, Edwards Ag Winners
By STEVE REAGAN Staff Writer
Big Spring Herald, Big Spring, Texas
A rancher and crop duster were the big award recipients at Thursday's Ag Appreciation Luncheon.
Jimmy Sterling, owner of Sterling Cattle Co., a Vincent-area ranching operation, was named agriculture producer of the year, while Tex Edwards of Flying E Spraying received the Agriculture Business of the Year award at the luncheon, annually hosted by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sterling Cattle Co. was started in 1954 by J.M. Sterling, Jimmy Sterling's father, and today extends into portions of Howard, Mitchell and Scurry counties.
Sterling was lauded by presenter and past award winner Donnie Reid as a true conservationist.
“Taking good care of the land and its natural resources has been a top priority for the Sterling Ranch,” Reid said. “Quality conservation has been applied to the land for several decades.”
Reid also applauded Sterling's approach to cattle-raising.
“The main objective of the ranch is to raise quality beef cattle, focusing in the natural beef industry,” he said. “All-natural cattle have never received antibiotics or growth hormones ... Careful attention is paid to the health of the produced calves. They are monitored for sickness and if a calf must be doctored they are permanently marked and taken out of the natural program at weaning time.”
In addition, the cattle company also leases numerous ranches, located in Borden, Coke, Tom Green, Runnels and Coleman counties, for additional pasture grazing
The Sterling Cattle Co. is truly a family operation, Reid added, noting that Sterling's wife, mother, children and in-laws all participate in its operation.
Edwards has parlayed a life-long love of flying into his successful crop-dusting enterprise, said presenter Nate Avey of Porter Henderson Implements.
“When he was only 14, he flew nine hours nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean from the Azores to Bermuda,” Avey said. “Just for fun and to celebrate his 16th birthday, Tex soloed in seven different types of aircraft.”
Edwards and his wife, Hillary, established Fying E Spraying shortly after his 25th birthday. the operation started small but has grown steadily over the years, Avey noted.
Today, Edwards dusts crops across Howard and all its neighboring counties.