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Four local NCAA athletes have signed Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deals with Farmers Bank & Trust (FBT). Derrian Ford, Landon Jackson, Carlee Ratcliff, and Frankie Price (in alphabetical order) will be partnering with the bank for the upcoming year.

Chris Gosnell, FBT’s chief executive officer, is excited by this new opportunity to support education locally. “These first four student partners will be the beginning of deepening our relationships with our Farmers communities through NIL support,” Gosnell said. “We can’t wait to see our Farmers student-athletes continue to excel.”

Derrian Ford

Ford graduated from Magnolia High School and will be playing as a freshman for the University of Arkansas (UA) men’s basketball team. In his high school career, Ford was named the state final Most Valuable Player three times. This March, Ford led in scoring at Magnolia’s state championship final against Blytheville, capping off the team’s undefeated season.

Landon Jackson

Sophomore Jackson joined UA’s football team on the defensive line after transferring from Louisiana State University last year. He graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas. There he helped win two state football championships. As a junior in high school, Texas Sports Writers Association named him 2019’s 4A Defensive Player of the Year.

Carlee Ratcliff

Ratcliff of New Boston, Texas is entering her sophomore year playing for the University of Texas (UT) softball team. During her freshman year, she played 16 games as a pinch hitter/runner, third baseman, or outfielder. She is part of the first team in UT’s program history to reach the championship series of the Women’s College World Series.

Frankie Price

Rising sophomore Price hails from Coppell, Texas, and is a member of the UA gymnastics team. She trained with the renowned team Texas Dreams Gymnastics and competed in national competitions. She qualified for the Junior Olympic Nationals in 2018 and the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2019.

“We look forward to cheering on Derrian, Landon, Carlee, and Frankie in their upcoming seasons,” said Gosnell.

The Farmers Bank & Trust Board of Directors recently announced the promotion of Jeff Whitener and Brad Moore to Regional Credit Officers.

In this new role, Whitener and Moore will have more responsibility overseeing loan production and credit quality in multiple markets as the Bank continues to grow in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Jeff Whitener

Whitener has 10 years of banking experience and works out of the Magnolia Main Farmers Bank & Trust branch, located at 200 E. Main Street. He currently serves as Senior Commercial Loan Officer. He holds Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. He will graduate from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado in July of 2022. Whitener is involved in many local organizations in his community including First Baptist Church, United Way, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Golden Triangle, Columbia Christian School Board, Leadership Magnolia, Mulerider Club Board, and the Magnolia Hospital Auxiliary Board. He is married to Kelsey, and they have two kids, Alyssa, and Austin.

“I am humbled and excited for the opportunity,” said Whitener. “I look forward to assisting in growth and development opportunities for our customers and staff across the region.”

Brad Moore

Moore has 25 years of banking experience and is the New Boston, Texas Market President at ourbranch located at 416 N McCoy Boulevard. He holds BBA and MBA degrees from Texas A&M University-Texarkana. He is also involved in his community and serves as President of the Friends of West Bowie County and is the Vice President of the New Boston Noon Lions Club. He is married to Amanda and together they have one son, Phillip.

“My favorite part about working for Farmers is the culture of our Bank and local decision making,” said Moore. “I am honored our executive management team has confidence in me to fulfill this new role.”

“Jeff and Brad’s experience and leadership will help drive the Bank forward for years to come. I thank them for their unwavering commitment to the Bank’s lending team,” said Dave White, Farmers Bank & Trust Chief Lending Officer.

For 50 years, the city of New Boston and surrounding areas have come together to celebrate the end of summer with New Boston Pioneer Days. With the pandemic canceling the popular event in its 50th year last year, this festival is sure to be a hit! Farmers Bank & Trust is a proud silver sponsor of the event.

This weekend, August 13-14, the Pioneer Days Rodeo kicks things off. Click here for all the rodeo details. The “Hottest Festival in Texas” is presented by the New Boston Chamber of Commerce, and there is fun for the entire family spanning four days, August 18-August 21, 2021. 

“We’ve got an ideal place for entertainment downtown with the covered pavilion, stage, and sound system,” New Boston Chamber of Commerce President Tim Graham said. “We can already tell from the response we’ve received from vendors and sponsors; they’re going to make sure this thing is a success this year.”

Fun for the Family

Johnson Brothers Amusement will be setting up carnival rides on the midway, along with arts and crafts and food vendors. Live music is happening every night. Admission to concerts is free to the public, and free parking is available. The Chamber encourages people to bring their own lawn chairs as seating is limited under the pavilion.

Destroyer-KISS Tribute Band will be performing Thursday night, and the Street Dance will be Friday at the festival grounds under the T&P Trail Head Park Pavilion with JoeDale & Friends performing at 8:30 p.m.

“I grew up here in New Boston, and this festival has grown a lot,” Graham said. “We used to have a big street dance and that was always really popular so we’re bringing that back this year.”

Headliner John Schneider, aka “Bo Duke”

John Schneider / Photo courtesy of New Boston Pioneer Days Facebook

Saturday morning, the New Boston Volunteer Fire Department serves a big pancake breakfast, followed by a Hazzard County, USA-themed parade at 10 a.m. To keep with the theme, this year’s headliner is John Schneider & The Hazzard Band. John Schneider is well-known as Bo Duke in the action/comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard.

“School is about to start back up and this is one last chance to end the summer with a bang,” Graham said.

For more event details, visit their Facebook page here.

Tucked away down a country road in New Boston, TX is a hidden gem. It’s a greenhouse and garden center, but it’s also much more than that. Little Country Greenhouse, owned by Bruce (the self-proclaimed “bloomin’ idiot”) and Patricia Pardue, is a family-friendly gardening destination. They have multiple greenhouses filled nearly year-round with beautiful plants for your home or garden.

It’s been a tradition of ours to visit the greenhouse almost once per week, year-round, for the last few years. We’ve grown to love this place. So much so that we had our daughter’s birthday party there, a fairy garden celebration. Our favorite greenhouse is the one that houses a beautiful koi pond, the parakeets, and some beautiful staghorn ferns that are thirty years old! My children love watching the parakeets and checking on the koi, while I browse their excellent selection of house plants.

Butterfly Cottage

During the warmer months (summer into early fall) the garden center also hosts a butterfly house! This tour is free, just be sure to call ahead to reserve a slot. It’s enchanting to walk slowly through the enclosure, noting the caterpillars munching away, the chrysalis’ near the sidewalls,  as the fully mature butterflies float all around you. Please do not touch the butterflies, chrysalis, or caterpillars. There is a place for donations at the end of the tour and I’d encourage you to add a small donation to keep this beautiful gift to the community going.

New this year, they have added a country store with a wide variety of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, a hydroponic growing system, and some Brahma chickens! The rooster for the Brahma, once fully mature (which takes up to two years) will be nearly 36 inches tall! You can walk around the chicken and rooster enclosures, and be sure to say hello to Big Man.

Inside the Shop

Our favorite way to cap off our visit is to head inside the shop, which is also home to their old-fashioned candy shop and ice cream store! They also have coffee, which I grab in the cooler months to enjoy while walking around.

Little Country Greenhouse is a wonderful, family-friendly, destination year-round. I’ve even heard that Bruce has a special connection to Santa Claus and he sets up a workshop right on site! All of the employees are very helpful and Bruce and Patricia are always happy to help answer any plant and gardening questions. Be sure to follow them on Facebook HERE to catch some of their weekly videos, which will be sure to put a smile on your face.

Five things to see at Little Country Greenhouse:

  1. Big Man the rooster.
  2. The Butterfly Cottage in the summer.
  3. The parakeets.
  4. The Koi fish and pond.
  5. The (seasonal) selection of carnivorous plants.