Hundley is Junior Rice Farmer of the Year

The 73rd International Rice Festival recognizes Jack Thomas Hundley as the 2009 Junior Rice Farmer of the Year, as announced by Janet R. Hebert, president.

Jack Thomas is the 19 year-old son of Michael and Katherine Hundley, and the third of eight children. He is the grandson of the late C.J. and Annie Hensgens Hundley of Mowata and Rose Marie Olinger John and the late Representative John N. John, Jr., of Crowley.

Jack Thomas and his family live in the farming community of Mowata, located between Crowley and Eunice. The family farm consists of over 2,500 acres of rice, soybeans, and crawfish, which make up the diversified efforts of this family operation. Growing up on the family farm allowed Hundley to learn early in life the duties and responsibilities of a farmer. He was home schooled most of his elementary school years, which allowed him to learn hands-on the farming operation. He also spent a lot of time helping his father and brothers on the farm.

At ten years old, Jack Thomas was the main cart driver during the harvesting season. Although in the last few years his younger brothers have taken over his cart driving duties, he now hauls grain in 18 wheelers from the fields to the on-farm storage bins. He helps operate the storage facility along with leveling the rice and reading the rice samples.

Jack Thomas is responsible for managing water, spraying levees and ditches, and operating and maintaining equipment. He also assists with the technological aspects of the farm equipment. Each summer is filled with red rice and weed pulling to assure the Hundley’s quality seed rice. Besides his duties with the family farm, Jack Thomas obtained his first operating loan with the assistance of the USDA Farm Service Agency to produce 100 acres of soybeans and 95 acres of rice.

Jack Thomas is a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Mowata, where he has been as altar server for the past 11 years. He is a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame High School of Acadia Parish where he was a 4-H member, a three year member of FFA, a two year member of campus ministry, a four year member of the football and basketball teams, and commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister during his Sr. year.

He volunteered as a Junior Counselor at the Muscular Dystrophy summer “Rainbow Camp” in Shreveport, LA and coached the Iota girls “Lil Dribblers”.

Jack Thomas loves golf, hunting, and fishing and his strong agricultural roots and family dedication to farming is clearly evident in the Hundley family. He is the fourth generation of rice growers from the Mowata area.

The festival is slated for weekend of October 15-17, 2009. View the Rice Festival’s website for more information on the festival activities and events at www.ricefestival.com.

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