What started out to be an English class writing assignment has now turned into a published piece in The Progressive Farmer national magazine that will be read by thousands.
Wayne County High School Senior Travis Lewis has worked hard on his academics throughout his high school career. He has taken college History 109, Biology 112-113, English 101-102, Art History 105-106, and is currently enrolled in Math 150 while still attending high school. He has a solid ACT score, good attendance, and made sure he did not get anything below a B throughout his high school career. The 18-year-old enjoys participating in the Wayne County School Future Farmers of America chapter in all sorts of agriculture related extra-curricular events. Another favorite part of his school life is FCA, whether it was participating in a worthwhile activity like the Thanksgiving meals to those less fortunate or performing at different churches in the community on Sunday nights. He is an active member of New Hope Baptist Church., located a couple of miles from his home in the Sumpter community.
If that isn’t admirable enough, Travis is just as dedicated to his family’s farm where he currently co-ops in the afternoons and has grown up learning about every aspect of farming. He helps his family harvest around 1600 acres of wheat, soybeans, and corn, while tending to over 200 head of beef cattle on farmland in Wayne, Clinton, Russell, and Cumberland counties. He assists his Dad Larry Lewis, Uncle John Lewis and Grandfather Milford Lewis manage Lewis Farms. In the process of growing up in the family business, he has become passionate about farming and appreciates the balance of nature that occurs with each annual cycle whether it is planting, harvesting, or storing crops.
Travis wrote his speech “I believe in the Farmer” earlier in the school year when his College English 101 Teacher Angela Sloan assigned the project to her class. Students compiled all kinds of moving essays about what they believed in. Their essays came from their hearts and the students were videoed presenting their papers so they could be shared with fellow students as they were viewed on the school district website.
Travis’ piece was no exception. It came from the heart and his parents Jan and Larry Lewis were so impressed with their son’s work that they sent his piece to the national magazine, The Progressive Farmer, which they have subscribed to for many years. To everyone’s delight, the editors were so impressed by it that they featured it on page six of the recent winter issue.
Editor in Chief Gregg Hillyer endorsed the student’s piece explaining that they receive a lot of correspondence from their readers – sometimes praising their work and sometimes chastising them. “In some instances however, we receive something that reinforces our passion for covering agriculture and why we hold the people who make their living working the land in such high regard,” wrote Hillyer, who was just as impressed with the piece as Travis’ teacher and parents.
Travis is currently planning whether to attend Somerset Community College or Western Kentucky University where he will major in Agriculture. “I hope to come back home to this area. Farming is what I enjoy. I’ve looked at other opportunities but I like Agriculture,” Travis concluded.