ARLINGTON, TX (KTRE) - At its 82nd annual meeting in Arlington on Sunday, the Texas Farm Bureau honored longtime East Texas News journalist Donna McCollum with its 2015 Excellence in Journalism award for "outstanding coverage of agricultural issues."
The Nacogdoches County Farm board of directors nominated McCollum for the award in the category for a news market of more than 50,000.
"She's completed countless agricultural-related stories, including the challenges of farmers, ranchers, growers, and foresters," the nomination stated.
The nomination also cited McCollum's commitment to covering environmental and health issues, property owners' rights, and county fairs.
"Donna McCollum is the woman you see running around town and country in a KTRE-TV vehicle headed to a story to tell," the nomination added. "It's the stories that take her to rural East Texas that she enjoys the most."
In other Texas Farm Bureau News, a high school junior won first place and a $6,000 scholarship in the agency's 2015 Free Enterprise Speech Contest.
Vasey Neuman, the 17-year-old son of Jason and Kim Neuman, beat 12 other speakers from all over the state in the contest.
"At Onalaska High School, he is district president of FFA, a member of the National Honor Society and competes in UIL events," a press release stated. "Neuman, who represented Polk County Farm Bureau in the contest, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in Biomedical Sciences. He hopes to practice as a large animal veterinarian."
The six finalists in the competition will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to visit elected officials, witness US Congress in session, and visit historical sites.