Reception honoring Shelby Harper's 39 years of service to agriculture set today

From Staff Reports

Feb. 12, 2008 - Past and present stockholders, employees, associates and friends are invited to honor Shelby Harper this afternoon for his service to farm credit and agriculture in the Northeast Texas area. Harper retired in December after serving 39 years on the board of directors of the North Texas Production Credit Association.

A public reception in Harper's honor will begin at 5 p.m. today in Heritage Hall, the community room at Best Western's Trail Dust Inn.

Harper, 76, was first elected to the board of Sulphur Springs Production Credit Association in 1968. He continued to serve on the board after Sulphur Springs and Texarkana PCAs merged in the early 1970s to form North Texas PCA.

In 1979, Harper was elected to serve as chairman of the board for NTPCA and continued to serve in that capacity until 1999, when NTPCA and Tyler PCA merged. After the merger, Harper served as vice chairman until his retirement in December of last year.

"Shelby is an honorable man of integrity and principle," said Dwyatt Bell, former president and chief executive officer of the North Texas Production Credit Association, in a press release. "He and his brother, R.M. Harper, continued the family heritage of farming and ranching and today they own and operate approximately 3,000 acres in the northeastern portion of Hopkins County."

The Harper operations include crops, dairy and beef. They also produce their own hay.

"Shelby has served the stockholders faithfully and with deep commitment," Bell said. "He and his family have been pretty important to agriculture in our area."

Shelby and his wife, Dixie, have been married for 57 years. They have two daughters, Linda Owens and Kay Owens, and two grandsons, Les Owens and Neely Owens.

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