2011 Hall of Fame Honoree
Thomas Wesley Ridgedell, the Unofficial Mayor of Loranger, Louisiana is no stranger to the agriculture community. He is the current State President of the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association. He is the first cattleman from the southeast area of the state to receive this honor. He has been a long time member of Cattleman Association’s at all levels.
Born into an Argiculture family T. Wesley is a long time resident of Loranger. He is the son of Cloria and the late Tom Jr. He was raised on his family’s dairy farm he was taught how to work the land and its animals. As a young boy in school, Wesley was an active member of the 4-H and future Farmers of America, showing cow. Wesley and his wife Rosemary owned the Loranger Super Value for many years. When not at work he was raising beef cows and his three children. When attending cow shows he would always say, “We are learning how to raise cows and kids at the same time.”
While Wesley and his family went to different shows around Louisiana and Mississippi he noticed that Tangipahoa Parish was lacking an agricultural arena. He along with cattlemen, and business leaders had a dream of an arena where 4-H and FFA children of the region could have a first class place to show their cattle. Wesley was asked to be on the Tangipahoa Parish Arena Advisory Board by Parish President Gordon Burgess. After many years their dreams came true and the Arena was established. With the help of State Senator Ben Nevers and other Louisiana Legislators, the parish officials and the City of Amite, the Florida Parishes Arena, a multi-purpose facility was officially opened on July 2, 2004. This arena is a testament to the hard work of many people, including Wesley who visits the Arena often.