A cotton farmer from Wall was elected president of the state's largest farm organization here during the final day of the Texas Farm Bureau 69th annual meeting.

Kenneth Dierschke of Tom Green County narrowly defeated incumbent president Donald Patman, who has led Texas Farm Bureau since January 2000.

“I am looking forward to leading the Texas Farm Bureau into a new era,” Dierschke said in his acceptance speech “There are obviously many important issues facing us on the state and national levels. I want to focus on the legislature and the many key issues we must address when the legislature convenes.

Dierschke was elected to the Texas Farm Bureau Board of Directors in December, 1996. He became vice president in 2000.

Dierschke, who raises cotton, milo and wheat, graduated from Wall High School and later attended Angelo State University. He has served on the Tom Green County Farm Bureau board since 1975, with one term as president, and on Texas Farm Bureau's Blue Ribbon Goals, Resolutions and Cotton Advisory committees.

Dierschke and his wife, Binnie, have two sons, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Following the convention, the TFB board elected Lloyd Arthur, a cotton farmer from Ralls, as vice president. Dale Jeske of Alamo was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

Newly elected board members included Gary McGehee of District 6, replaces Dierschke, whose term was up, and Arthur L. Bluntzer of District 12, replaces retiring board member Zachary X. Yanta.

McGehee is a sheep, goat, cattle and wildlife producer from Mertzon. Bluntzer is a commercial cow/calf producer from Cuero.

Re-elected for two-year terms to the Texas Farm Bureau board were Lloyd Arthur, District 2; Joe Kapavik, District 4; Dan Dierschke, District 8; and Tommy Boehme, District 10.