June 2024

Texarkana Magazine

JUNE • 2024

TEXARKANA MAGAZINE June | 2024 | Volume 5 | Issue 6

50. STYLE The Unexpected Route Home 60. TXK 411 Leaves of 3, Let It Be

12. BUSINESS Sky High Farming 14. POLITICS More Farm in the Farm Bill


36. ENTERTAINMENT Good Evening TXK 42. LIFE An Organically Grown Life



16. cover/COMMUNITY Gator Glut 22. CULTURE Escape Close to Home 26. SPORTS Honor of a Lifetime

62. SHARE THE LOVE Milestones 64. MONTHLY MIX Grillin’ & Chillin’ 66. TXK ROOTS Forrest Carvajal



What is your dream vacation?

CASSY MEISENHEIMER It is a toss-up between hiking Machu Picchu in Peru and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. They are both bucket list places I hope to visit one day if I ever have the time or money.

TERRI SANDEFUR I want to travel in a rocket to the Moon like we fly in airplanes today.

ALANA MOREL I am so excited to live out one of our dream vacations this month! We are spending two weeks in Italy traveling from Venice to Rome, then making our way to the Amalfi Coast.

KARA HUMPHREY I would like to go to England, Ireland, and Scotland for several weeks. I’m dying to explore really old buildings, eat shepherd’s pie in a pub, and wake up in the mornings to bagpipes.

MATT CORNELIUS It would have to be in Africa. I would like to learn one of those African clicking languages because I get the feeling my knees are trying to tell me something.

LEAH ORR I would rent a catamaran and island hop around the British Virgin Islands with my family.

BRITT EARNEST I’m equally split between going back to Costa Rica or Colombia. I love ecotourism and have friends in Costa Rica, but I have a daughter from Colombia, so both.

BRITTANY ROBLES I would take two months to backpack through Switzerland.

BAILEY GRAVITT I’d go to Branson, Missouri. My family used to take a bi-yearly trip there before my grandpa’s health started to decline. I would do anything to go back with them all again.

TIFFANY HORTON I would like to spend an entire summer in Europe with my family, visiting as many countries as possible. I’d also like to spend time with our

STEPHANIE HARRIS I would love to go to Israel, but with the present conflict there, that’s not an option. I will await the dream with Scotland, Ireland, or Italy.

DR. ROBIN HICKERSON I’d go back to the Kentucky Derby, of course!

My last vacation is always my favorite.

exchange students and their families while we are there.




A s we gear up for the dog days of summer, a popular saying often resurfaces in conversations and across social media platforms: “You only have eighteen summers with your child, so make them count.” This phrase reminds us time is a thief. These eighteen summers offer us a unique window to celebrate life together free from the usual rush of the school year. It is our chance to really engage in whatever our kids love to do, enjoy just being there with them, and make memories full of adventure. Hopefully, we even get to squeeze in a family getaway or two. The idea of an eighteen-year countdown to the end of parenthood is one I find too limiting. The connections we make with our kids, especially during their teenage years, are not constrained by a timetable. These relationships are built for a lifetime of meaningful dialogue, extending far beyond the moment they turn eighteen. My friend Kara may be able to give more insight, as she now has experienced three of her four sons surpassing the eighteen-year-old mark. However, I think she can vouch that life with adult children, though a bit more complicated, is definitely still as precious. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the charm of these years while our teenagers are still at home. There is an undeniable energy and beauty in this fleeting time when family life feels full and close. I know I am trying to savor all I can with my boys while they are also evolving into young men with their own social calendars. In this issue, we cover the outdoors, agriculture life, travel close to home, and more. This month, we are excited to unveil something groundbreaking (to us) for our cover, an AI-generated photo. At a recent industry conference, we learned how AI is revolutionizing the world of graphic

txkmag.com letstalk@txkmag.com 903.949.1460 OFFICE 911 North Bishop Street Building C • Suite 102 Wake Village, Texas 75501 MAIL 2801 Richmond Road #38 Texarkana, Texas 75503

Publisher CARDINAL PUBLISHING Staff CASSY MEISENHEIMER cassy@txkmag.com TERRI SANDEFUR terri@txkmag.com

ALANA MOREL alana@txkmag.com KARA HUMPHREY kara@txkmag.com LEAH ORR leah@txkmag.com BRITT EARNEST britt@txkmag.com BRITTANY ROBLES brittany@txkmag.com MATT CORNELIUS matt@txkmag.com

design and inspiring many publications. This sparked an idea, and we decided to embrace this new knowledge. AI has served as a creative sidekick, generating fresh, exciting ideas, and it was super easy to do. We simply told the program to create an up-close image of an alligator while still portraying a bright and happy vibe… and you can see the results. Pretty crazy if you ask me! We are proud to present our very first AI-generated cover, and we hope it captivates you as much as it has us! This summer, enjoy the present moments, cherish the daily interactions, and look forward to the future with anticipation and hope. Here’s to a June filled with warmth, laughter, and the making of lasting memories.






Texarkana Magazine is a multimedia publication showcasing the Texarkana area and is designed and published by Cardinal Publishing, LLC. Articles in Texarkana Magazine should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Ideaology, products and services promoted in the publication are not necessarily endorsed by Texarkana Magazine .





F arming has always been essential to human civilization, from ancient times to our modern high-tech world. Through the years, farming practices have developed in response to environmental, technological, and societal changes, reflecting humanity’s ongoing quest for sustenance, prosperity, and progress. One of the advancements in agriculture today is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. These high-flying helpers are transforming how farmers manage crops, combining precision, efficiency, and environmental care. Agriculture drones are like miniature helicopters buzzing through the skies, equipped with advanced GPS and sensor technologies. They can navigate fields with pinpoint accuracy, applying pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers exactly where needed. “Timing is super important when applying pesticides and fertilizers. If the ground is wet, you can’t get a heavy tractor on the field to use a spray rig, and trying to spray with an airplane is expensive. Spraying with an airplane can also be risky in some situations because the chemicals can drift in the wind and get on neighboring fields. Say you have a field of roundup-ready soybeans next to a rice field. You can spray roundup for weed control on the beans, but if it drifts over to the rice, it will destroy it. Airplanes are not precise enough to spray in this situation, but drones can,” said Dr. Brent Bennett of Double Angel Rice Farms. With drones, farmers can tackle problems fast, boosting crop health and freeing up time for other important tasks. Jennifer Caraway from the Miller County Agriculture—University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension notes, “Agriculture drones serve as a significant asset in situations where fields are too wet for large equipment to enter, thus delaying the optimal treatment time.” Imagine having to check every field on a massive farm. Sounds exhausting, right? Drones can do the job quickly, flying over fields and snapping detailed pictures. These aerial photos help farmers quickly spot issues like thirsty plants or pesky pests. This means less waste, lower costs, and a happier planet.

However, the benefits of drones do not stop at spraying. These high-tech tools have a variety of applications that can transform farm management. For instance, drones equipped with multispectral sensors can monitor crop health by capturing images in different wavelengths of light. This data can reveal plant stress, disease outbreaks, and nutrient deficiencies that are invisible to the naked eye. Drones can also be used to map and survey land. By generating detailed maps, farmers can plan their planting and irrigation more effectively. This leads to better water management and helps avoid issues like soil erosion. Additionally, drones can monitor livestock, tracking their movements and health, which is especially useful for large farms. According to Caraway, “Drones have great potential as workhorses in agriculture. Imagery provided by satellites and drones is already changing the way producers farm their crops. I see the use of drones in agriculture only becoming more prevalent.” Early detection of pest problems means fewer chemical treatments, supporting integrated pest management practices. Despite their many benefits, adopting drone technology is not without challenges. Farmers need specialized training to make the most of their drones, and ongoing maintenance is crucial to keep them flying smoothly. Regulatory considerations also play a role in ensuring drones are used safely and responsibly. As drones become more accessible and affordable, their role in agriculture is set to soar. “Another benefit of drones is cost. A large spray tractor can cost several hundred thousand dollars, plus the cost of diesel to operate. A drone system can cost less than $100,000 and is very affordable to operate,” explained Bennett. These smart flying machines are ushering in a new era of precision farming, making it possible to grow healthier crops, save time, and protect the environment. Thanks to the incredible capabilities of agriculture drones, the sky is truly the limit for modern farming.





is underscored by the endorsement of over 20 grassroots organizations representing the voices of farm families across the country. We can pass a farm bill that strengthens commodity programs and crop insurance while also making improvements across every other title to meet our shared goals. This isn’t an either-or decision. The next farm bill provides an incredible opportunity to make things right for farmers, ranchers, rural communities, and those in need. Working together, we can protect and enhance voluntary conservation programs, provide investments needed to open new export markets and expand existing markets, build on research that allows our farmers to do more with less while reducing environmental impacts, protect the health of our nation’s herds and flocks, and help rural communities flourish and prosper. Passing such a bill is never an easy task, but it’s one Congress has come together to accomplish time and again. I believe we can, and will, do so here as well. I am proud to serve as a voice for farmers, ranchers, producers, and rural communities, and will continue leading efforts to deliver the tools and resources they rely on and deserve.

Senator Boozman meeting with agriculture producers in Wyoming.


I ’ve been on the road visiting with farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural community leaders, and nutrition specialists since we began undertaking the daunting task of writing a new farm bill. At the invitation of my colleagues, I’ve traveled across the country to hear directly from stakeholders as to what we need to include in this contract between Congress and our nation’s agriculture community. In fact, I just joined Senator John Thune in his home state of South Dakota for my 19th farm bill listening session this month. While we’ve received plenty of valuable input at every stop, there has been a reoccurring theme from the outset when I joined Senator John Hoeven in North Dakota for my very first listening session. The takeaway from that event has been echoed across the countryside and in meetings throughout Washington: “we need more farm in the farm bill.” As the Republican leader of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am committed to making that happen. This next farm bill must update the risk management tools farmers and ranchers need to succeed in order to reflect the nature of the challenges under which they operate today. That means we must invest in modernizing the outdated reference prices that are used within commodity programs and making crop insurance more affordable and accessible.

Because here’s the reality—producers are experiencing unprecedented challenges, regulatory uncertainty and historic volatility in the farm economy, all of which are projected to get worse. Historic inflation, rising interest rates, a record trade deficit, devastating natural disasters, and global disruptions will make it more difficult for our farmers to succeed in the years to come. My Republican colleagues on the committee and I intend to release our vision for how we can meet the call to put “more farm in the farm bill.” One key provision of our framework has already been introduced. I recently joined Senator Hoeven and others to introduce the Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act which seeks to improve crop insurance affordability and accessibility by increasing premium support for the highest levels of coverage and enhancing the supplemental coverage option. I commend my colleague’s leadership in introducing the FARMER Act and proactively addressing the needs of farmers and ranchers who have asked for improvements to the federal crop insurance program. This bill includes critical components to modernizing the farm safety net for producers across all regions and all commodities. The strength of this approach

Senator John Boozman, Arkansas Republican, serves as Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.




GATOR GLUT BY STEPHANIE HARRIS Did the efforts to protect the American Alligator become overly successful?

T his is no doubt an effort that is appreciated by all nature lovers, but the current alligator populations in South Arkansas continue to increase at an alarming rate. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Tech Blake Keener said the problem at Beard’s Lake Park, part of Millwood Lake, stemmed from people illegally feeding the alligators. Alligators are skittish of humans, and feeding them can cause their natural fear of humans to dissipate. “There have been warnings given out here for that,” said Millwood State Park Superintendent Eric Lindy. According to the AGFC website, between 1860 and 1960, alligator populations throughout the southeastern United States were “severely depleted,” reaching an all-time low, due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting. In 1961, AGFC enacted a regulation to protect alligators. According to Millwood Lake Guide Service owner Mike Siefert, severe depletion is the opposite of the current issue. Millwood Lake is a 29,260-acre lake in the southwest corner of Arkansas in Little

River County, 16 miles upstream from its confluence with the Red River. It is a popular lake for bass fishing tournaments and birding. Siefert says he’s been “voicing concern about the problem for years” but admits there is no easy fix. U.S. Congress passed legislation in March 1967 listing the alligator as endangered. In January 1977, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) downlisted the alligator from endangered to threatened. In 1987, it was delisted to recovered status, eventually saying populations were stable. An agreement was made years ago between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the AGFC for a restocking program. Around 80 percent of those alligators were released on private lands at the owner’s request, believing they would control populations of rough fish, turtles, venomous snakes, and beavers. Siefert disagrees that “stable” accurately depicts the current situations in Millwood and other water bodies in South Arkansas. “It is a multifaceted problem. I have an 18-and-a-half-foot bass boat




and have seen some as long as my boat. These gators exceed 15-16 feet and 1,100-1,200 pounds,” and without a doubt, it is directly affecting the lake’s ecosystem. According to Siefert, the alligators eat the nutria, which consume the vegetation. This vegetation is a natural and necessary part of the ecosystem and keeps too much sedimentation from building up in the lakebed. “The gators have nearly caused the extinction of the nutria by eating them,” he said. “As a result, the lake isn’t able to hold the capacity of water it was designed to hold.” Millwood Lake was built specifically for flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers, who also control vegetation. “They do a great job, but there’s only so much they can do with herbicides due to the lake being a water supply for area communities.” Aside from that, the situation has created fear for lakegoers and campers. Park Superintendent Lindy said the campground area has no reports of any incidents. He claimed there are areas of the lake where the alligators are more prevalent, but not around the camping area of the state park. The park officials offer safety tips on what to do if you come near one. They also provide educational programs and post warning signs, including warnings that an alligator is nearby if you hear a loud hissing. Penny Arnold lost the dog she had for eight years to an alligator at Clear Lake, off Old Post Road, in Texarkana, Arkansas. She said the alligator pulled her dog, Bailey, into the water, drowned her, and then ate her. Arnold was, of course, traumatized by witnessing the horrific attack and losing her beloved pet. “I loved her. She was my lifesaver after the death of my spouse,” Arnold said. She described

the incident with tears falling down her cheeks but hopes it can be a warning to others. Arnold was watching her pet and saw the alligator but “thought it was a log.” This is something to take note of, she said. “They are hard to see in the water, and often, only their eyes are sticking up above the water.” “Bailey was a Basset Hound—very curious, and it was nearing winter, so the gator was looking for food, and it was huge. Bailey couldn’t swim. She was on the bank when I saw it take her. If a dog could scream, that’s what it sounded like. I just kept thinking she was going to pop up in a minute and escape, but then I saw the water start turning colors. It was horrifying.” Arnold explained that if you hear there are alligators in the lake, do not think it’s a novelty. “They are vicious killers.” Is this as big a problem for other bodies of water in South Arkansas and Northeast Texas? “It stands to reason that if the AGFC alligator policies are the same for other areas in the region, the problem would be the same at other lakes,” Siefert answered. “I am all over Millwood Lake. The other day, I was talking to some residents at Yarborough Landing, and they are scared to let their kids out. A family was fishing off the dock recently, and an alligator came right up and took the bait off the fishing pole. They gathered their kids and dogs up and left because they were scared to death that the gator was going to come up where they were. So yes. It’s a huge problem.” Siefert reports, “They are crossing the highway and getting hit by trucks and cars because they crawl up the rocks and cross the dam. A man was training his lab to catch a duck, and while throwing




Hunters looking to bag an alligator in the Natural State may apply for permits for public land hunts from June 15-30 each year. Scan here to visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website for more information.

his decoy for the dog to retrieve, a gator got his dog, drowned it, and ate it, leaving him in utter devastation,” he said. “This has happened multiple times.” Thankfully, no children or humans have been hurt. “Praise God, no, but are we going to wait until something catastrophic happens before something is done?” Siefert and the five guides who work with him have been on the lake since the 1990s. He has been a fisherman on the lake since he was a child in the 1960s. He said alligators regularly sabotage the trotlines and yoyo fishing efforts. Fishermen have to stay within sight of their gear to try to prevent that from happening. AGFC research says since 1984, alligator populations in Arkansas have become “stable” enough to support a regulated sport hunt. But now, even with a legal, highly regulated hunt implemented, Siefert, who has volunteered for the AGFC for 30-plus years, emphasizes more may need to be done. “The alligators are at the top of the food chain. One problem combats another with this situation, and there has got to be a balance.” Seifert, along with agencies involved in the care of wildlife management of lakes across South Arkansas, have discussed the possibility of more tags being issued for hunts or pursuing a mass relocation effort to get the population back down to a healthy percentage for the bodies of water. Over the last ten to 20 years, the population has just exploded. Thirty or 40 alligators can sometimes be counted in one area. Without the nutria consuming the vegetation, when winter hits and the vegetation dies, it creates silt and sedimentation at the bottom of the lake. In the 1990s, the U.S. Geological Survey installed

sedimentation stakes in the lakebed and marked them with GPS. When they returned several years later, they could not even find the stakes with GPS technology. The sedimentation occurred at a rate much higher than anticipated, and the study had to be abandoned,” Siefert stated. “The entire ecosystem becomes more and more unbalanced every year.” Millwood Lake fishermen and surrounding residential citizens have called for a solution. Many have suggested the alligators be captured and relocated back to Louisiana, where they aren’t so concentrated. There are teams from Louisiana who bring airboats out to do this for a living. Keener said the AGFC recently made an agreement with APHIS, the Animal Protection and Health Inspection Service. He said they are working closely with this agency to teach the relocation and capture process. The current alligator sport hunt is the result of a six-year effort by AGFC to offer Arkansans another sport hunting opportunity. A hunter must apply and then be chosen from a drawing to register a tag. Shooting an alligator without the proper registration and training is only legal if it’s in self-defense. More interest in hunts could mean a push for more tags to be issued. For those who have been considering going on an alligator hunt adventure, learn the procedure and follow regulations. That could be a small part of helping secure a natural habitat and saving an ecosystem or a life.





You do not have to travel far from Texarkana to find beautiful places to relax and have fun.

Explore the Caddo River, Little River, and the Ouachita National Forest. These areas are perfect for family trips and adventures. Caddo River is great for kayaking, fishing, and swimming. Little River is peaceful and full of wildlife, perfect for canoeing and bird-watching. Ouachita National Forest has miles of hiking and biking trails with stunning views. Find the best spots for your next getaway and enjoy the nature that is close to home. Book your getaway to wonderful memories at one of these fabulous locations.




HONOR OF A LIFETIME BY DR. ROBIN HICKERSON From sire to sire, It’s born in the blood The fire from a mare and the strength of a stud It’s breeding and it’s training and it’s something unknown That drives you and carries you home

And it’s run for the roses as fast as you can Your fate is delivered, your moment’s at hand It’s the chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance

And it’s high time you joined in the dance “Run for the Roses” by Dan Fogelberg

T he Kentucky Derby, also known as the Run for the Roses, has been labeled the most exciting two minutes in sports. Most of us are familiar with the pomp and circumstance surrounding the derby—hats, mint juleps, twin spires, and the bugler. However, most people have no idea just how rare it is for a horse to qualify and just how much time and preparation goes into the whole derby experience. The annual foal crop in the United States is about 20,000, and only 20 or 0.001% of each crop qualifies for the Kentucky Derby ( pennhorseracing.com ). Starting each fall, horses can run in derby prep races and begin earning points toward the Run for the Roses. Texarkana residents, Kerry and Alan Ribble, put themselves on a path to achieve the lofty goal of sitting in an owner’s suite at Churchill Downs on derby day. Their journey to the derby has been a spectacular one, filled with highs and lows, laughter and tears, and an unbreakable bond among family, friends, jockeys, trainers, and owners.




An early-morning visit to the barn at Churchill Downs provides an opportunity for friends and family to meet the Legion Bloodstock team and their trainer, Whit Beckman.

After being told how “lucky” he was to have a horse in the derby, Alan describes the seven “lucky breaks” that led him from an occasional spectator at Oaklawn Hot Springs to owning a derby starter... 1. Meeting Bess Sanders and Kelly Lassiter in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Once we mentioned we wanted to get involved at Oaklawn, they set us up with box seats and started introducing us to their friends at the track. They introduced me to jockey Terry Thompson, who recommended our trainer if we wanted to buy a horse. 2. Having David Vance be our trainer and Lynn Vance as our guide to ownership of horses. They showed us how much fun it was to own a winning horse and led us through the ins and outs of ownership. 3. Meeting my friend, Gary Elmore, who told me to talk to Kyle Zorn about getting a “Saturday” horse. If Gary hadn’t told me his name, I never would have noticed his name tag at the Saratoga auction. 4. Meeting Kyle Zorn. He was most gracious to meet two strangers from Arkansas for lunch and start explaining the many different avenues of horse ownership.

is beyond my comprehension. It bothers me that anyone would think their ability to buy good horses at decent prices is luck. They have all spent many years learning to spot a potentially good horse and that ability should be recognized. 6. Luckily, Kyle Zorn, Travis Durr, and Kristian Villante knew Whit Beckman and recognized his ability and chose him as a trainer for our horse, Honor Marie. I don’t think any other trainer would have taken that horse and given him a chance to be great. 7. I am so lucky to have Kerry as a partner in life and this horse-owning adventure. Not many people have a wife who will plan a trip around lunch with some “horse guy” in Lexington or vacation to a four-day horse auction and spend hours each day watching the guys look at horses. Having someone to share the highs and lows of this business is a priceless gift. I think that if I gave her perfume that smelled like old hay and fresh manure, she would tell me she loves it. She has made this adventure so much more enjoyable than it could ever have been alone. Looking back on these lucky breaks, next time someone tells me how lucky I am to have had a horse in the derby, I’ll just smile and say, “Yes, I Am.”

5. Lucky for me, Kyle was a partner of Travis Durr and Kristian Villante. Their expertise with horses




Alan Ribble and his daughter, Sarah Medley, at the stables of Churchill Downs.

The Ribbles' beloved horse, Honor Marie, stands proudly in the stable.

Kerry and Alan Ribble at a pre-party dinner for the Kentucky Derby.

Members of Honor Marie’s fan club, including her namesake Marie, were decked out in orange and blue on Derby Day.

The Ribbles with three of their grandchildren, Hayes, Palmer, and Baker Ribble.

Alan and Kerry’s daughter Sarah reflected on her parents’ luck on the eve of the derby as everyone in the Honor Marie entourage mentally prepared for the day ahead. “Luck certainly plays a role in success, but the essence of true achievement lies in the pursuit itself–the countless hours of preparation, resilience in the face of setbacks, and the courage to chase something that seems out of reach. No matter tomorrow’s outcome, I’ll never forget watching my parents show me the value of completely immersing oneself in a goal. And it sure seems the harder you work, the luckier you get.” Alan and Kerry first encountered their derby contender in a horse auction at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. The Ribbles, along with Kyle Zorn, Travis Durr, and Kristian Villante (Who later formed Legion Bloodstock) attended the auction and looked at 600-800 horses, took notes, and made bids. They purchased the yearling of sire, Honor Code, and mare, DameMarie, for a mere

$40,000. The horse broke its maiden and was on a path to run in the derby against horses costing more than $2 million. Kerry and Alan also had the opportunity to name the horse Honor Marie. It is customary for the horse to be named from the stud’s and the mare’s names, and in this case, the name was even more special due to one of their nine grandchildren being named Marie. Marie was present throughout many of the derby week activities and garnered quite a bit of attention as she traveled about the backside of the track and around town in Louisville with her family. Kerry jokingly said their next horse would be named “The Other Eight.” The guys from Legion Bloodstock, a firm that buys and sells thoroughbred horses on behalf of their clients, speak highly of their inaugural buyers, the Ribbles, and enjoy a solid partnership in which both sides have a true love for the horses and passion




for the sport. According to Zorn, it is not uncommon for Kerry and him to think alike and “worry” about the same things. “People have no idea how hard it is just to get here. You have the points system and the build-up. Everything you do and everything that happens with the horse is scrutinized. It really helps to have someone to bounce ideas off.” Zorn considers it an honor to be in the Churchill barn area among the iconic trainers and owners he has revered all his life. “I am a fan of great trainers, and it’s an amazing feat to get to the derby year after year. But it is also nice to see a fresh face make it to this level. To see a guy like Whit get here and have a chance to win it is pretty special.” Whit Beckman, Honor Marie’s up-and-coming trainer, enjoys a strong connection with Kerry and Alan and refers to them as the type of people you want in the barn. “They are salt-of-the-earth, dedicated, and loyal. I am excited to have previously experienced the adrenaline rush of winning with them.” Beckman, a Louisville native, says to have the opportunity to be on the biggest stage on the biggest day in horse racing is a dream come true. He is thankful for the outpouring of support and heartfelt connections he has experienced through Honor Marie’s journey to the derby. “When we are manifesting anything in our lives, and we think about the service we can do for others and not just ourselves, that’s what grows and turns our dreams into reality,” he said. Beckman describes Honor Marie as an intelligent horse with the “it factor.” “I don’t have to train around anything. He knows who he is and what he is here to do.” Zorn adds, “He is built like an old-fashioned route horse. He’s not flashy. He has no quirks

and does the same thing day in and day out. He’s a working man’s horse.” Both men agree they love the horse and the journey he has made possible. Zorn says the road to the Kentucky Derby is the most stress and the most fun you will ever experience. “It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s what the horse did.” However, he states, “A good horse will take you on a ride you’ll never forget, but it’s people you share the experiences with that make the memories you will always cherish.” As Conner Ribble, Kerry and Alan’s son, reflects on derby day, he says, “Seeing people live out their dreams right before my eyes was truly special. Moments before the race, my heart was beating so fast. The last time I felt that way was moments before I proposed to my wife. The team, the trainer, and my mom and dad envisioned themselves ending up here. I will never forget seeing the joy on my parents’ faces as they hugged after the race was over.” Kerry agrees. “I am thankful my own kids got to be there and see behind the scenes and understand our love for the horses. The connections and the feeling of putting your feet in the dirt on the track at Churchill, looking up at the Twin Spires, and walking your horse to the paddock for the Kentucky Derby is surreal. I am just an ordinary girl having an extraordinary experience. Our horses are our heroes, but our connections keep us seeking those heroes.” Honor Marie finished eighth on derby day after getting off to a rough start coming out of the gate. Although he didn’t win, he gave us an experience we will never forget. Thank you, Kerry and Alan, for giving us a Texarkana derby connection, and thank you, Honor Marie, for the honor of a lifetime.




father means nothing when I have Jesus, a ‘Father to the fatherless.’” I knew I wanted to believe this, but did I? Spoiler alert—not really. A song came on in my car a few years ago that I didn’t mean to play, and it—once and for all—revealed to me the answer to those doubts. I could pretend to be tough and that I didn’t need a dad, until all the sudden I was transported back to being eight years old, sitting in the back seat of my dad’s car watching him from behind sing “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns. It’s a gorgeous worship song packed with so much truth. It induced tears streaming down my face, as I realized for the very first time, “WOW! Not having a present father in my life has truly affected me.” I’ve had male influences through my grandparents, uncles, and teachers. Even until now, in my early adulthood, I have had men who have stepped up and offered to mentor me. Through tears, I would tell my mom that as much as I want to allow myself to grow close to them, I was afraid. When will they get bored of me? When will they realize I have nothing in common with them? When will they get frustrated or annoyed with me and back off? Through this, I’ve come to terms with the dangers of not healing old wounds. My dad is an absolute genius—a brilliant musician. He can pick up any instrument and know how to play it in no time. He primarily played saxophone in bands across the country, including the famous MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where my parents grew roots for 14 years and my hometown. I just like to say I was born in Las Vegas. I think it’s really cool. People usually expect a story involving Elvis and a drive-thru chapel, but nope! It was just the music and neon lights. My fondest memory of my dad was a New Year’s Eve night in San Antonio, Texas, where he had taken my brother Parker and me to one of his friend’s houses. We literally played music from after dinner ‘til two or three in the morning. It was fun, loud, spontaneous, and captured my dad’s colorful, boisterous personality. He shuffled from playing bongos, to guitar, to the sax. It was just us and a group of his friends in a circle making all kinds of beautiful sounds and music. It was so pure. The sad thing about mental illness is that while those highs, like we experienced that New Year’s Eve, are really high, the lows are also really low. Unfortunately, the lows, more often than not, outweigh memories of the highs… especially when all offered help is rejected. For us, there came a time when we as kids could no longer handle the depths of the lows, putting us in harm’s way and because of that, we lost our relationship altogether. I knew, though, that if I wanted to release my inability to trust any men who would enter my life in the future, I would have to begin with the first man, the source, the root cause of this pain. I didn’t just have to forgive my dad; I wanted to forgive him. I yearned for the experience Rihanna had, where “all kinds of emotions” rose to the surface after she made the choice to forgive her father. If Rihanna could do it, so could I! God is well-known for bringing beauty from even the ugliest of circumstances. The beauty in this whole mess has been my dad’s precious new wife and her biological daughter, who my family absolutely adores. It was through my open communication with her that I retrieved my dad’s phone number. Eventually, I called to speak to him for the first time in ten years to tell him I forgave him, and that I wanted him to forgive himself, too.


I had an epiphany one day while watching an Oprah interview on YouTube. Maybe this sounds odd to some but growing up in a household with a mother who dished out Oprah and Dr. Phil quotes like they were pieces of Halloween candy, this was hardly anything out of the ordinary for me. In a 2011 interview, Rihanna tearfully told Oprah that the only way she could allow herself to be vulnerable enough to let a man romantically pursue her was by first “repairing her relationship with her dad.” After she forgave her father, she could finally work on trusting men again. This was a concept I found utterly fascinating. For years, as Father’s Day would roll around, I would buck up and shuffle through the emotions while replaying the same tired, faulty script in my head, telling myself vehemently, “I do not hold resentment towards my dad for not being a part of my life since I was 14 years old. I have reflected and moved on from the years of abuse at his hands during my childhood, and not having an earthly




I don’t blame my father. I blame this fallen world in which mental illness is a very real weapon of destruction the enemy uses to divide families and cause chaos. I choose empathy and compassion for him every day in order not to end up the bitter avenger of his shortcomings. Holding grudges is exhausting! I need to focus my energy on staying out of fast-food drive-thrus. The dad-sized hole in my heart began to shrink the day I forgave him, and it’s been a slow burn process ever since. From time to time, we have even managed to maintain a level of communication. As Kacey Musgraves says, “healing doesn’t happen in a straight line”, and it sure as heck doesn’t happen overnight! When I think about my dad, I choose to focus on how I was blessed with part of

his musical talent. I sing and play the guitar now. I inherited his exuberant personality. I also admire his fearlessness. He toured around the United States, and that must have been scary. He is a free spirit. When he is at his best, he’s funny, he’s creative, he can paint for days, he’s personable and social, he loves talking to people, and he is one of the most fun people I’ve ever

known. Without him, there would be no me, and without me being me, I would have no connection to the Father to the fatherless, and the true lover of my soul, Jesus Christ. Moral of the story—living in resentment is torture. Choose redemption. You didn’t ask for your pain, but you can choose your healing. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

LOCAL EVENTS June 1 Tough Kookie Foundation

June 7 Hospice of Texarkana Good Grief Day for Community Youth Landmark Pentecostal Church 10 am-2 pm June 7, 14, 21, 28 Children’s Movies at the Texarkana Public Library 10 am & 2 pm June 7 & 21 Food Truck Fridays Courthouse Square 11 am-2 pm June 8 Children’s Story Time with local author Cal Davis Salty Boutique and Books 11 am June 11 Silver 55+ Bingo Texarkana Public Library 10 am June 14-16 Runnin’ WJ Benefit Barrel Race Four States Fairgrounds

June 14 Downtown Live! 6-9 pm June 15 Miller Co. 4-H Shooting Sports Fundraiser Rocky Creek Outdoors 9 am-12:30 pm June 21 36th Annual Adult Juried Exhibition Opening Reception & Awards 6:30 pm June 22 Communities Unlimited Cardboard Boat Race Bobby Ferguson Park 10 am

Reggae Summerfest Silvermoon on Broad 6-10 pm June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Texarkana Texas Farmer’s Market Courthouse Square 8 am-noon June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Gateway Farmers’ Market 602 E. Jefferson 7 am-noon June 4, 11, 18, 25 Teen Movies at the Texarkana Public Library 10 am June 5, 12, 19, 26 Free Yoga Southwest Center 5:30-6:30 pm

LIVE MUSIC June 1 TXK Jazz Collective 1923 Banana Club, 8 pm June 6 Chace Rains Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar, 5 pm June 7 David Howe & Will Bullock Redbone Magic Brewing Company, 7 pm

June 22 Sophie & the New Relics Redbone

Magic Brewing Company, 7 pm June 28 Lynch Mob Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar, 8 pm June 29

The Gold Standard 1923 Banana Club, 8 pm June 29 Don Louis

June 5, 12, 19, 26 Line Dancing Class Texas Elks Lodge 6:30-8:30 pm

For more events visit

Crosssties Event Venue, 8:30 pm


Jaelyn Bunch One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Coltin Clack Breaking Bad on Netflix

Samantha Mitchell Candace Owens Podcast






SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS Summer is here, and it is time to find fun activities to keep the kids engaged and busy. Whether they love outdoor adventures, arts and crafts, robotics, or sports there are great local summer camps and Vacation Bible Schools available for a wide range of ages. Some of these programs are free, while others have a cost, so contact the camps for more information.

LOCAL SUMMER CAMPS May 28-Aug 9 Weekly Summer Camp at the Clubs Texarkana and Northridge Country Clubs 9 am-3 pm June 3-July 26 St. James Day School Spartan Kids Camps Morning sessions 7:45 am-12:30 pm Afternoon sessions 12:30-5:30 pm Full day available June 3-July 26 Morning Sessions 9-11 am Afternoon Sessions 1-3 pm June 3-6 TISD Vex GO Robotics Camp 8:30-11:30 am June 3-15 TexRep’s Finding Nemo Jr. Drama Camp 9-10:30 am (grades K-2) 10:30 am-noon (grades 3-5) 1-3:15 pm (grades 6-12) June 4 Little Kids Camp with First Baptist Texarkana 8 am-3:30 pm (grade 1) June 5 Little Kids Camp with First Baptist Texarkana 8 am-3:30 pm (grade 2) June 4-6 Cats/Dog Art Wall Camp Texarkana Regional Arts Center 10-11:30 am (grades 1-3) June 4-6 Cats/Dog Art Wall Camp Texarkana Regional Arts Center 1-3 pm (grades 4-6) St. James Tech Know Camps Morning session 8 am-noon Afternoon session 1-5 pm Full day available June 3-6 Texarkana College Kids’ College

SUMMER SPORTS CAMPS June 3-4 TISD Girls Basketball Camp 9 am-noon (grades K-4) 1-4 pm (grades 5-9) June 3-4 TISD Golf Camp

June 10-13 TISD Vex IQ Robotics Camp 8:30-11:30 am June 11-12 TISD Cooking 101 Camp 9-11 am June 13-14 TISD Cooking 101 Camp 9-11 am June 17-21 WinShape Camp

9-11 am (grades 1-4) 1-3 pm (grades 5-8) June 3-5 PGISD Boys Basketball Camp

Red Lick ISD 8:15 am-5 pm June 17-21 Silvermoon Children’s Theatre Camp 10 am-2:30 pm June 18-20 Camp Create Texarkana Regional Arts Center 10-11:30 am (grades 1-3) 1-3 pm (grades 4-6) June 18-20 Preschool Camp First Baptist Church Texarkana Kids Camp with First Baptist Texarkana Overnight at Lakeview Baptist Church June 24-27 TISD Battlebots Camp 8:30 am-3:30 pm June 24-28 Silvermoon Children’s Mini Show Camp 10 am-2:30 pm June 24-28 Cosmic Artventures at The Gallery 1894 9:30-11 am (ages 5-8) 1-3 pm (ages 8-12) July 8-12 Silvermoon Children’s Mini Show Camp 10 am-2:30 pm July 8-12 TAMU-T Young Writers’ Workshop 8 am-noon July 22-25 Silvermoon Children’s STARter Camp 10-11 am 9 am-noon June 21-24

1-2:30 pm (grades 2-5) 2:30-4 pm (grades 6-9) June 3-5 PGISD Softball Camp 3:30-5 pm (grades 7-9) 5:30-7 pm (grades 4-6) June 4 & 6 TISD Swim Camp 5:30-6:30 pm June 4-5 TISD Baseball Camp 10 am-noon June 5-6 TISD Tennis Camp

10-11:30 am (grades 1-5) 1-2:30 pm (grades 6-8) June 10-11 TISD Boys Basketball Camp 9-11 am (grades K-4) Noon-2 pm (grades 5-8) June 10-12 PGISD Volleyball Mini Camp 5-6 pm (grades K-3) June 10-12 PGISD Football Camp 6-7:30 pm June 10-12 PGISD Volleyball Camp 6-7:30 pm (grades 4-9)

June 10-July 19 Kidtastic Kamp Texarkana Arkansas Parks & Recreation Department 9 am-4 pm




VACATION BIBLE SCHOOLS June 3-7 Liberty-Eylau Baptist Church

June 10-13 Red Lick Volleyball Camp 8-10 am (grades 5-6) 10:30-12:30 am (grades 7-8) *must be enrolled in RLISD June 17-18 TISD Softball Camp 9-11 am (grades 1-5) Noon-2 pm (grades 6-9) June 17-18 PGISD Girls Basketball Camp 1-2:30 pm (grades 2-9) June 17-19

July 22-25 Red Lick Basketball Camp 8-10 am (grades 1-2) 10 am-noon (grades 3-5) 1-3 pm (grades 6-8) *must be enrolled in RLISD July 22-23 TISD Volleyball Camp 9 am-noon (grades 5-7) 1-4 pm (grades K-4) July 24-25 TISD Volleyball Camp 9 am-noon (grades 8-9) July 29-30 TISD Football Camp 5-7 pm (grades K-5) July 30-August 2 TISD Cross Country Camp 6:30-8:30 am 5:30-7 pm July 31-August 1

9 am-noon June 9-13 Trinity Baptist Church 6-8 pm June 10-14 Northern Hills Baptist Church 8 am-noon June 24-28 First Baptist Church Wake Village 9 am-2 pm June 24-26 First United Methodist Church Texarkana, Arkansas

PGISD Baseball Camp Noon-2 pm (grades K-9) June 19-20 PGISD Cross Country Camp 7-8:30 am (grades K-6) June 24-28 Challenger International Soccer Camps 8-8:45 am (ages 3-5) 9 am-noon (ages 6-14) July 15-19 Challenger International Soccer Camps

9 am-noon July 22-25 Williams Memorial United Methodist Church 5:30-7:30 pm

TISD Football Camp 5-7 pm (grades 6-8)

8-8:45 am (ages 3-5) 9 am-noon (ages 6-14)







AN ORGANICALLY GROWN LIFE BY KARA HUMPHREY BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, MATH, MECHANICS, BUSINESS, AND ENGINEERING… When considering the experts in these fields, we often overlook farmers whose grasp of each must be extensive. It is a career, or even more accurately, a lifestyle requiring a firm grip on many complex subjects, including these and others. Going to work each day, facing weather uncertainties, devouring pests, soil conditions, and the potential breakdown of complex machinery, acts as the most advanced, and sometimes severe form of continuing education. Add to all of this the reality that farming is a job that is extremely physically demanding and requires strength, stamina, a strong work ethic, and problem-solving, and you quickly realize the resume requirements of a farmer narrow the field of qualified applicants down to an impressive few.




Often, when looking at those who possess the appropriate skill set, you will find they have been preparing for the role their entire life. Sometimes, farming is passed down from generation to generation. Or sometimes, like in the case of Zach Koller, it becomes a life born a little more organically out of a love of the outdoors and an unyielding and determined willingness to work hard and take no shortcuts. Koller started working big jobs while most kids his age were still riding bikes and wasting time with friends. Thanks to his mother, Rachel Scott, who had high expectations and the right connections, Koller found his way into what has now become his passion. “One of my biggest inspirations in life is Brendon Burrell,” Koller said. “When I was 14 years old, we attended the same church, and my mom wanted to show me what hard work was to prepare me for my future.” “From a young age, Zach always loved being outside,” said Scott. “When he had the opportunity to work with Brendon, I thought, ‘Great! A little manual labor will help encourage him to go to college.’ But he fell in love with the land and the work.” Scott’s introduction of her son to Burrell set Koller on a path none of the three could have predicted would be so defining for his future. “Brendon managed a hunting club and gave me the opportunity to work summers and weekends. He taught me how to run farm equipment, grow food plots, and manage moist soil units. Brendon instilled a hard work ethic in me from a young age,” he said, and it’s that work ethic that has continued to lead Koller from one opportunity to the next. “Zach is such a great person with a wonderful family!” expressed Burrell. “He came to work for me pretty young. He showed up to work every time I asked. I was so lucky to have him working for me because of his strong work ethic and his willingness to help with whatever I needed… I know a lot of people, but very few I feel blessed to know. Zach, I feel blessed to know!” It was Burrell whose referral secured Koller’s second job when he was just 16 years old. “Brendon knew I always needed young men from the community to work in the heat of the summer. So, the introduction was a blessing,” said Koller’s second boss, Cole Law. “Cole taught me everything I






needed to know about mixing chemicals and fertilizers, and he taught me how to drive a standard,” said Koller. “In agriculture, in the heat of the summer, you find out who the wannabes and the real workers are. Zach never complained,” bragged Law. “I told him afterward, ‘Brother you’ve got it! You can make it in ag.’ I’m just so proud of that young man. I can’t say enough. He could handle 100-hour work weeks, and he never complained. I just love that guy so much. From day one, I was like, ‘This kid is something special.’ He listens, learns, and does what he says he’s going to do. He’s just special. My business was better off because of him.” “My time with Cole further fueled my love for hard work,” claims Koller, and these valuable lessons propelled him through the next couple of years, culminating in landing his third job, his senior year of high school. That year, he worked for a local farmer who farmed thousands of acres. “There I was taught the process of planting, growing, and harvesting,” recalls Koller. “I was in DECA at Arkansas High and would leave school after lunch to head to the farm and would be on a tractor harvesting wheat until midnight or later, most nights.” After graduating from Arkansas High School, Koller set out to lineman school at Texas State Technical College in Marshall, Texas. His prior job experience made a way for him, and he was contacted to help upkeep a few thousand acres of hunting ground while he put himself through the training. After completing the program, he moved to Round Rock, Texas, to work as an apprentice lineman, but that adventure was short-lived. “After a few months, I was given the job opportunity to take a managing position for Big Woods Hunting Club back home in Texarkana.” He gladly jumped on the opportunity, and that has been his primary job since 2017. In his current position, Koller oversees the wildlife and habitat management on several thousand acres of privately owned wetland reserve program. “I maximize food for waterfowl on our property by growing different strains of millets, milo, sunflowers, and moist soil vegetation, which consists of monitored water drawdowns, spraying for invasive plant species, and also pest species,” he explained. “I work with Ducks



Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68


Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs