2017 Peanut Queen Recognized by Lions

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – During the Thursday, Nov. 2 meeting of the Grapeland Noon Lions Club, the Lions welcomed several very special guests to join them for lunch.

The first special guests were the students on the Onalaska Ag Issues Team, led by FFA Advisor Adam Graham. Graham is the son of Grapeland FFA Advisor (and Lions Club member) Gary Graham.

For the last several years, Graham has been bringing his Ag Issues Team to Grapeland for a dress rehearsal of their presentation which will be given at the State FFA competition later this month.

This year’s topic was border security and whether the United States should follow through on building a wall along the U.S. / Mexico border.

Before the presentation began, Graham introduced his team.

“We have three returning seniors that were third in the state last year with this program and I have three young freshman. It’s a good mix and our competition is next Thursday. They have presented this several times so I hope they will be flawless today,” he said.

The team is comprised of senior Cari Wiggins; freshman Virginia Boyce; senior Shelbi Stutts; freshman Jordan Shutter; senior Victoria Newport; and freshman Brady Newman.

“It is impossible to discuss Texas politics without ever touching on the fence and how it will solve all of our problems. On the other hand, others worry that building another Berlin Wall would cause many, major issues,” Cari Wiggins said.

“Our goal today is not to persuade you on either side of the issue, but rather to provide you with enough information to make an informed decision. To fence or not to fence? That is the question,” she added.

Both sides presented compelling arguments both for and against the border wall. Among the topics addressed on the pro-fence side involved the smuggling of illegal drugs and the flow of illegal immigrants across the border.

On the con-side of the fence issue, one of the arguments presented was the use of eminent domain. It was argued eminent domain would be used to claim lands where the fence crossed which would eliminate thousands of acres of land used in agricultural production.

Following their presentation, the students fielded questions from the Lions in attendance.

Once the questions concluded, Madelyn Conner – the 2017 Peanut Queen – was introduced. Madelyn had been sponsored by the Grapeland Noon Lions Club during the 2017 Peanut Queen’s competition and was present to extend her thanks to the club for its help.

“I just wanted to stop by and say that in the short time I have been Peanut Queen, I have had many opportunities to get more involved in the community. That was why I ran in the pageant. I wanted to say thank you for sponsoring me. It was an honor to represent y’all and thank you for having me today,” she said.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.