Texas Agriculture February 19, 2016 : Page 9

Gary Underbrink and his wife Joan in the Underbrinks’ fi elds. CFB offi ce, he was overwhelmed with the sight of the tractors, including his own, waving the fl ag he fought for. He was then greeted by a large crowd of family, friends and passersby as he entered the new board room dedicated in his honor. “You can hug him, but he can’t hug you. So the best way for us to ‘hug’ him is to show him the things we know he loves,” Flores said. “That’s the fl ags, the state of Texas, his friends, farmers and the equipment. He knows the fact that they brought it here was an undertaking itself. On a cold day when they could have been snuggled up at home or in a tractor, they were here just for him.” The dedication wasn’t made in Underbrink’s honor because he has ALS. Flores notes the CFB would have honored Underbrink for his vol-unteerism and kindness even if it was just his birthday. “He helped build the cotton modules and developed the engineering for it,” Flores said. “He was an integral part of farming for many years now. We may not use those modules anymore, but this man was on the ground fl oor of that. That’s signifi cant itself.” Underbrink didn’t ask for the honor and recognition. In fact, Flores said he probably wouldn’t have wanted to attend the celebration had he known about it in advance. “He doesn’t really want everyone seeing him in this situation,” Flores said. “When I said, ‘I know you’re glad,’ he just smiled big time.” It wasn’t hard to fi nd local farmers impacted by Underbrink. In fact, Gary Underbrink and Kleberg-Kenedy County Farm Bureau President Cindy Flores in the new board room dedicated in Gary’s honor. Flores said more farmers than she invited brought out their equipment to honor him and show their respect for the man who played a vital role in farming in their community. “I think most Farm Bureau members, and board members especially, have a real desire to serve and understand that service,” Scott Frazier, Texas Farm Bureau District 13 state director, said at the event. “When a gentleman like Gary has provided a lot of service to agriculture and his community, you want to recognize that, and by doing that inspire other folks to take notice. Maybe they’ll work hard for their community, too.” Although the event also brought awareness to ALS, Flores said it’s important for everyone to recognize and show the people in their life they understand what they’re going through. “I wish I could say that if you did this, you wouldn’t get ALS and if you didn’t do that, you’d be ALS free, but I can’t,” Flores said. “What I can say is do-nate to your cause, whatever that may be, because at some point they will fi nd a cure, whether it is can-cer or ALS. Do some-thing to recognize that somebody out there is trapped in their own little world and cannot talk. We can at least let them know we care that they’re there.” F EBRUARY 19, 2016 9

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