Commissioner Miller Honors Baillie McManners of Caney Creek High School in Conroe With ‘GROW’ Award (10/17/2016)

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is pleased to honor Baillie McManners, a senior from Caney Creek High School in Conroe, Texas, as the winner of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s monthly GROW award. The award Gives Recognition for Outstanding Work to middle and high school students who demonstrate leadership and excellence inside and outside the classroom.

“I’d like to say how proud I am of Baillie for earning this month’s GROW award,” Commissioner Miller said. “Young Texans like her make me hopeful for the future of our great state. She’s got the talent and the drive to succeed that has been fueling success in Texas for hundreds of years. Way to go, Baillie!”

Baillie was chosen from hundreds of Texas students for demonstrating leadership and academic success in her school activities as well as her commitment to community service.

“It is such an honor to be selected by the Texas Department of Agriculture as a GROW award recipient,” Baillie said. “It’s been my goal to serve others while promoting the agriculture industry and through my FFA and SAE experiences, I have the opportunity to begin this journey.”

Baillie has continually proven herself to be a leader in FFA, serving currently as her chapter’s president and area first vice president after numerous other leadership roles throughout the years. She is also in charge of organizing two National FFA leadership development conferences held in Texas, the 212 Degrees and 360 Degrees conferences. At the conclusion of these conferences, over 350 FFA members will have participated in workshops and learning experiences that Baillie coordinated and helped develop. She has also served as a Texas FFA Foundation Ambassador for the past two years, hosting dignitaries at the state FFA convention and being a general advocate in the business community for FFA and agriculture education programs. For the past three years, Baillie has also been recognized at the Texas FFA convention for her taxidermy Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE), recognizing her involvement and work in the field.

Baillie finds time to actively participate in FFA and SAE projects, manage a producing apiary, run a small taxidermy business and still maintains a 3.5 GPA while enrolled in both dual credit and advanced placement courses. Her FFA advisor and agriculture science teacher, Melissa Grissom, said Baillie is also heavily involved in her family’s Santa Gertrudis beef production operation by both raising and showing cattle. She has also has served as the vice president of the Mid-Coast Santa Gertrudis Junior Association.

Baillie’s accomplishments continue in her dedication to community service. She serves on the Montgomery County Fair’s special education committee as a junior committee member, is working with Wreaths Across America to assist in laying wreaths at the National Cemetery in Houston, and last year she developed a program for FFA members called “Our Blue Backs the Blue” in which gift boxes of homemade baked goods were delivered across communities with handwritten notes thanking law enforcement officers for their protection and service.

“Baillie is a true example of community, leadership and character,” Grissom said. “She demonstrates excellence both inside and outside the classroom with her leadership roles and activities, community service and agriculture involvement, and I am pleased to have had the opportunity not only to watch Baillie grow, but I have enjoyed watching her assist other students in their growth as well.”

Baillie plans to attend Texas A&M University next fall to study marketing and public relations. She intends to use her education to develop general public marketing and educational campaigns to provide counterbalance to negative opinions of agriculture and its industries.

For more on Baillie’s accomplishments, click here. The Texas Department of Agriculture established the GROW award to celebrate outstanding student leaders who demonstrate excellence in either their academic or extracurricular activities. Students can be nominated by community leaders such as teachers, coaches, school administrators, mayors, county judges or anyone else committed to recognizing youth leadership and achievement.

Between October to May each year, TDA selects one Texas student per month to receive the GROW award. Our next award will be given out in November 2016. Nominations will be due by Nov. 1, 2016. To learn more about GROW, click here.