Russell Boening was born and raised in Poth, TX. He was active in 4H throughout high school, serving as an officer on the local council and showing cattle at the San Antonio Livestock Show. He played basketball and football, garnering honorable mention recognition on the all-state football team. He also was a member of the Student Council and active in the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. In 1977, he graduated from Poth High School and started at Texas A&M University that fall.
Besides working towards his B.S. in Agricultural Economics, Russell was also involved on campus with intramural sports and organizations such as the Agricultural Economics Society. He graduated in 1981. While at A&M, Russell had two part-time jobs – operating and maintaining heavy mechanized equipment for a College Station-based firm and working on the family farm back home as much as possible, especially during his senior year. His favorite class at A&M, Beef Cattle Production (406), was taught by one of his favorite teachers, Frank Litterst. In that class, Russell prepared a ranch management plan that was the genesis of new strategies for the family operation, allowing for expansion of their beef enterprise.
Shortly after graduation, Russell became a partner in the Boening Brothers Dairy. His duties include business management and marketing for both the dairy and the beef production sides of the business. On his return in 1981, the dairy herd-size doubled to its present-day 450 cows. Today, the beef cow enterprise is at about 400 cows. They have acquired additional acreage for their operation by both purchases and leasing. Besides the dairy, Russell joined Loma Vista Farms as a partner in 1989.His farming enterprises include growing feed grains, cotton, watermelons, and wheat.
As a lifelong member of the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), Russell well understands the impact the association had on the lives of farmers and ranchers throughout the state. He joined the board of TFB in 2008, and has served the state ever since. In 2011, he was selected to be the TFB Treasurer where he served until becoming President in 2014. As president, Boening has made it his mission to promote, protect, and advance farmers and ranchers in the State of Texas. This mission has led him across the nation and the world to testify before the Texas State Legislature, the United States Congress, and speak to industry leaders in foreign countries regarding the merits of Texas farm products.
In 2010, The Boening family was honored by the Dairy Farmers of America at a national meeting in St. Louis. They were named Southwest Members of Distinction.
Russell has been a Poth School board member for more than 20 years, including eight as president. He notes that serving on a school board in a rural, even “poor” district is a big challenge. “I’m proud of our board,” he says. “We renovated several of our buildings and built some new facilities. We did not have to pass a bond to do that. At the time, there were matching funds available from the state. We were able to communicate to the community that we were maximizing the available dollars to do more for the kids and teachers. We had small tax increases and the community supported them.”
Russell is a member of the 12th Man Foundation and the Association of Former Students, and stays involved with the Agricultural Economics department as a mentor. Russell has participated as a TFB board member and TFB president on selection of interns for the TFB Congressional Internship Program. He frequently meets with the leadership of the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and often consults with Chancellor John Sharp. He leads efforts to address agriculture’s concerns and provide recommendations to Texas A&M.
Outside of his farming operations and the Texas Farm Bureau, Russell enjoys spending time with his wife Margie, daughter Megan Posey ’06, and sons Braden ’09 and Ethan ’12. While the Boening farm is the family business, it is also very much the center of family life. “We all love what we do,” he says. “We work together on the farm and we enjoy it. It’s a labor of love.” Ethan has joined the operation and the family all lives in the near vicinity. Of course, the Lutheran church is very much a part of their family life.