A lifelong Ellis County farmer and former president of the Texas Farm Bureau was bestowed the organization’s highest honor during the 76th annual Texas Farm Bureau state convention in Fort Worth.

Donald Patman of Waxahachie received Texas Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award, the highest recognition given by the state’s largest farm organization, for his years of selfless contributions and service to farmers and agriculture.

“Donald Patman is truly deserving of this honor,” said Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke. “He has devoted his life not only to growing food and fiber, but to leadership in the Texas Farm Bureau and the agriculture industry at the county, state and national levels for more than half a century.”

A cotton, corn, wheat and soybean farmer, Patman also raises cattle in partnership with his son. He was elected to the Texas Farm Bureau board of directors in 1994, and in 2000, he became the organization’s president, a post he held until December 2002.

Patman also served on the AFBF board of directors from 2000 to 2003.

Closer to home, Patman served as president and secretary treasurer of the Ellis County Farm Bureau, as well as chairing the wheat, cotton and membership committees for his local leadership.

Outside of Farm Bureau, Patman served agriculture on the USDA’s farm and ranch planning task force, as well as the ag policy ad-hoc advisory committee. He also served on both the boards of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and the Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Company.

For his years of dedicated service, Patman has received the Communication and Public Relations Award from the Professional Agricultural Workers of Texas, an Honorary State Lone Star Farmer Award and the Rotary Soil Conservation Award.

An elder and deacon with the Church of Christ, Patman also serves as a board director and chairman of the Christian School of Waxahachie. He and his wife, Mary, have two children, six grandchildren and one great-grandson.