Philip and Chelsie Domingues' agriculture roots run deep in the rich Vermilion Parish soil as fourth-generation farmers who remain connected to their past while focusing on the future.
The Domingues, who raise sugarcane, soybeans, and cattle near Erath, were named the state's top young farmers of 2022 Thursday night in New Orleans, earning the Louisiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award.
It was presented during the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation's 100th Annual Meeting.
Philip Domingues was immersed in the Farm Bureau's tradition of agriculture advocacy as a child, often joining his grandparents Wayne and Linda Zaunbrecher as ag industry ambassadors.
He continues to use his grandfather's tractor today.
Farm Bureau family reunion: Louisiana's largest agriculture event celebrates 100 years
“As a kid, I always went to stuff with them," Philip said. "We went to Washington, D.C., and events across the state. I guess they wanted us to know what was going on.”
Chelsie Domingues works on the farm and has a second job at a local hospital.
The couple is raising three children.
“My children may not go into a career in agriculture and that'll be fine; they can do whatever makes them happy,” she said. “Growing up in it and seeing it, they'll have the experiences. They know the hard work that goes into it, and no matter what job they choose to pursue, they're still going to advocate for agriculture.”
Here are the other winners:
► President's Award: For the third straight year, the Vermilion Parish Farm Bureau won the President's Award. It recognizes the parish Farm Bureau which excels in membership, advocacy, and communications over the past year. Bryan Simon is the Vermilion Parish Farm Bureau president.
► Discussion Meet: Amanda Duhon of Vermilion Parish won the 2022 Discussion Meet, an event where young farmers and ranchers address topics and issues in a group setting. The topic for the final round of this year’s Discussion Meet focused on how the Farm Bureau can be more accessible and welcoming to members who are farming and working off-farm jobs.
► Excellence in Agriculture: Marylynn Waddle of DeSoto Parish won the Excellence in Agriculture award, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who don't earn the majority of their income from an agricultural operation but are active in advancing the industry through the Farm Bureau.
► Outstanding Young Farm Woman: Laura Hebert, fourth-generation rice, soybean and crawfish farmer from Maurice, earned the 2022 Louisiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Outstanding Young Farm Woman.
► Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year: Haley Broussard, who teaches second grade at Dozier Elementary in Erath, received the award.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Louisiana's top young farming couple who raises sugarcane and more