For her years of support for Texas agriculture and the Farm Bureau cause, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison received the organization’s highest honor at Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 78thAnnual Meeting recently in Corpus Christi. Hutchison is the first U.S. senator to receive this prestigious award.

 “Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a long-time friend to Texas Farm Bureau and our members. For the past 18 years, she has been a leader in Washington to whom every Texan could turn,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “We are delighted to honor her with the Distinguished Service Award.”

The TFB Friends of Agriculture Fund (AGFUND), Inc., first endorsed Hutchison in her candidacy for state treasurer in 1990. In 1993, she won a special election for U.S. Senate—a post she has held until announcing her retirement this year. During her years of political service, Hutchison worked to preserve Texas’ natural resources, financial health and educational future.

“Sen. Hutchison has delivered results for Texas and for Texans,” Dierschke said. “She did things, not for publicity, but for the benefit of the entire Lone Star State.”

Hutchison worked alongside TFB members and leaders to protect the rights of all Texans. She regularly attended the organization’s annual meetings and often made presentations to members at various forums.

 “Throughout her nearly two decades in the Senate, Sen. Hutchison has attended more Farm Bureau annual meetings than she has missed. She has become a regular at our meetings, and we will miss her,” Dierschke said. “As she prepares to retire from political service, this award recognizes and expresses our gratitude for her years of friendship and assistance.”

TFB’s Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals who demonstrate significant contributions to both Texas agriculture and to the Farm Bureau cause. Recipients are chosen through a unanimous vote of the TFB board of directors.

Over the course of TFB’s 78-year history, only 28 individuals have been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award—formerly called the Meritorious Service Award. Past winners include current American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President and past TFB President Bob Stallman, as well as several other past TFB presidents, a Texas governor and state senators.