Agriculture is the number one industry in our nation. Our country helps feed and clothe not only our citizens but those abroad as well. Paula Lewis cares about the ag industry, and she should, because she's Georgia Mrs. United States Agriculture Queen 2022. We asked her a few questions to find out a little more about her and why she has such a passion for agriculture.
She grew up on a timber farm where her family raised hogs and cows. Her parents, both grocers, taught her all about the entrepreneurial spirit and instilled an immense love of agriculture in her and her brother at an early age. “The example my parents set and the love they passed on to us still makes me get out of bed in the morning with hope and faith in a new day and the anticipation of how God will use me for his Glory in the future.” Reflects Lewis. She says she loves to cook for a crowd, floral and interior design, working with cows with her husband and doing anything with her children. “I have so many things in my life to be thankful for—every breath, every ability, every friend, and family member.
She graduated from Treutlen High School in 2005 and attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where she graduated five years later. That’s where she met her husband, Max. They both majored and obtained a degree in Diversified Agriculture. Fast forward a few years and they now have two children, IV and Willa Jane. They reside in Albany where they operate four poultry houses, 200 head of angus cross cattle and a flower farm. There love of agriculture extends into Two Families LLC, a boxed beef business they operate with a few friends they met in college. “We offer locally grown, processed beef and pork from our families farms to our local neighbors and friends.” She’s a proud alumnus and serves on the Alumni Board for ABAC. On Sundays she attends Greenbriar Church with her family where she serves in the children’s ministry and on the worship team.
She says one of her long-term goals is to continue spreading awareness about the agriculture industry and the challenges it faces daily. In ten years, her hope is to be able to say she did right by the land, her livestock, her children, and her family. “I hope that in ten years we can say that every single day we made the best decisions at the time with what we had and who we had to care for.” She credits Georgia Farm Bureau as a major influence on her throughout her life. “Treutlen County Farm Bureau has always been very active in the community I grew up in, helping to spread the message of agriculture.” Since moving to Albany she enjoys working with the agents at Dougherty County Farm Bureau. “Jonathan Gibson and Whitney Passmore go above and beyond for their clients, myself and my family included, they genuinely want every experience to be a positive and long-lasting one.”
When asked who her hero was, she replied, Max, her husband. She says he’s selfless and although he’s an admirable rancher and agriculturalist, he shines the brightest at home as a husband and father. “He’s the single greatest blessing I’ve ever received.”
She says over the years they’ve seen how out of touch newer generations have become when it comes to agriculture. Maybe it’s because newer generations didn’t grow up in it, like Paula and her husband did. “The love of agriculture is evident if you’ve ever seen a calf being born or bitten into a fresh from the garden summer tomato.” Her mission is to reach those that weren’t immersed in agriculture throughout their life. She encourages others to wonder outside of their dinner plate and discover the amazing facets the ag industry offers. “We must be willing to take the time to have conversations with those around us who may not know all the opportunities agriculture affords.”
As the 2022 Georgia Mrs. United States Agriculture Queen, she focuses on promoting agriculture in Georgia while highlighting her experience in ag. She says the whole pageant is about enhancing the American agricultural story by sharing experiences and advocating for the industry. So, what goes into preparing for such a pageant? While there is a formal dress, Paula also must shine during the judges’ interviews and on-stage questions. She plans to compete for the national title at the end of June in Orlando, Florida. We wish Paula all the best as she continues to spread her love of agriculture with future generations.
Content provided by Paula Lewis, 2022 Georgia Mrs. United States Agriculture Queen