2023 Rancher of the Year 

Victor Manuel Garcia 

The Jim Hogg County Fair Association has named Victor Manuel Garcia the 2023 Rancher of the Year.  Victor is no stranger to ranching.  From an early age, he spent countless hours working cattle and repairing windmills alongside his uncles Manuel, Emiliano, Isidro, and Lauro Vela at the family ranch.  He attributes his ranching knowledge and background to the Vela Brothers.  He has a love for ranching, and he strongly feels that the family ranch is what it is today not because of what he does but because of what his ancestors built.  The family ranch, El Puerto, was established in 1820.  In 2021, El Puerto Ranch received recognition at the 45th Annual Texas Department of Agriculture’s Family Land Heritage Program for 200 years of operation.

Victor graduated from San Diego High School in 1963 where he was active in FFA all four years.  Upon graduation, he attended Del Mar College and Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas.  After a successful career as an independent welder, he retired in 2014.  Since then, he has managed El Puerto Ranch full-time and carries on the cattle ranching tradition. He enjoys every minute of ranching.

Victor is married to his wife of 30 years, Fantina T. Garcia.  His children are Angela Arredondo, Victor M. Garcia, Jr., Clarissa Ybanez, and Claudia Esquivel.  They are all graduates of Hebbronville High School and were participants in the Jim Hogg County Fair.  Victor believes in the benefits and advantages of a strong, agricultural education and instills this belief in his grandchildren.  He believes it is important to encourage the culture of ranching in today’s youth.

 





Rancher of the year honorees

  • 1988 – Ascension Martinez+

  • 1989 – Charles W. Hellen+

  • 1990 – Denis McBryde+

  • 1991 – Dr. Homero T. Martinez+

  • 1992 – Felix Stroman+

  • 1993 – Alfonso Montalvo

  • 1994 – Santiago De Los Santos+

  • 1995 – E.G Nava+

  • 1996 – Jack Fulbright+

  • 1997 – Alec Holbein+

  • 1998 – Tom Harper+

  • 1999 – J.R. “Dick” Holbein+

  • 2000 – Perry Weid

  • 2001 – James C. “Chris” Hellen+

  • 2002 – Horacio “Lacho” S. Ramirez+

  • 2003 – Dr. Mike Vikers, DVM

  • 2004 – Bill Barfield 

  • 2005 – Harold L. Henry (Vaquero)

  • 2006 – Samuel Torres (Vaquero)

  • 2007 – Erasmo Alarcon, Sr.+ (Vaquero)

  • 2008 – Eliseo Cremar, Maximillo Cremar+, Ramiro Cremar, Transito Cremar+, Eddie Cremar, Willie Cremar, Juan Escamilla, Sr.+ (Vaqueros) 

  • 2009 – Modesto Garcia+ (Vaquero)

  • 2010 – Rogelio Hinojosa+ (Vaquero)

  • 2011 – None 

  • 2012 – Eduardo Garza

  • 2013 – AC Jones IV

  • 2014 – Alfredo Villarreal Jr.

  • 2015 – Miss Marta Gutierrez and Mr. Isidro B. Gutierrez Jr.

  • 2016 – Mr. Ernesto Rivas Gutierrez

  • 2017 – Thomas A. Dickens

  • 2018 – Humberto D. "Beto" Martinez

  • 2019 – Frank Armstrong

  • 2020 - Charles W. "Bill" Hellen

  • 2021 - 
  • 2022 - 

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