Here's the latest scoop - from the Middlesboro Daily News by reporter Steve Woodard --
ROSE HILL — A Rose Hill man was given a top award this past weekend for his agricultural accomplishments. Edmond Hensley of Rose Hill won the Times-News Farm Expo Farmer of the Year Award during ceremonies held at the Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn. Hensley received a $1,000 award, along with a Kubota jacket and plaque from Lawson’s Building Supply in Rose Hill, who was a sponsor for 2009.“I was surprised and happy for him when I was informed he had been selected to receive the Farmer of the Year award,” said Harold Jerrell, Extension Agent for Lee County.“Since I nominated him, I also had to fill out the application and ‘tell his story,’” said Jerrell. “I am not a writer and my concern was that I would not be able to put into words what Edmond has been able to accomplish during his farming career. I enjoyed visiting in his home and allowing him to answer the many questions I needed to ask.”Jerrell said that any agricultural agency may nominate a farmer for the award. He said five counties were represented in the competition from Virginia, as well as five from Tennessee. The Kingsport Times-News has sponsored the event for 12 years. Around 7,000 people attended the event.Hensley’s story as a farmer began with a single cow nearly 65 years ago.But, now, things are quite different. Hensley manages a herd of approximately 625 Angus or Angue Charolais cross steers, grows nearly a 100 acres of corn silage, and 250 acres of hay. Surprisingly, Hensley has been able to manage his operation with only the help of Teddy Ramsey, an employee of his for 22 years during harvest and feeding seasons.Not only is Hensley an accomplished farmer, but also a family man. Married to Jacinta Davis Hensley, Mr. and Mrs. Hensley are the proud parents of three children and 11 grandchildren.From all his years farming, Hensley said that he believes strongly the contributions the agricultural industry has made to the economy. He stated that farming is the backbone of our economy and that he believes it is essential that our government support the farming industry. He said that if it isn’t supported, young farmers will quit farming due to the high input costs and the uncertainty of the price of farm crops.Jerrell said he had known Edmond for about 53 years. “I was glad to see Edmond win,” said Jerrell.