September 17, 2008
Seven men and women were recognized by the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association with Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture awards at the recent annual meeting in Amarillo.
The award, given for the past 46 years, is presented to individuals to recognize their outstanding leadership in agriculture and agribusiness, said Dusty Tittle, president of the association and AgriLife Extension agent in Burleson County.
He also said the award recognizes these individuals for their support of the educational program efforts of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service county agents.
"Their unselfish service has contributed to improving the economic well-being and quality of life in their communities, our state and our nation," Tittle said.
Those being recognized this year are:
--Lewis Britt, Wheeler County rancher and district representative for U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry. Britt travels throughout Thornberry's 44-county congressional district visiting with people about federal issues, said Kenny Brdecko, AgriLife Extension agent in Wheeler County. He also attends agriculture program committee meetings, crop and livestock educational meetings and field days, and serves as a resource person and speaker at many of these functions.
"Lewis has been successful at listening to county agents and their clientele and giving them a voice related to agriculture issues," Brdecko said. "He is a perfect example of being an informed agriculture leader, and that is why the county agriculture agents in District 1 would like to honor him with the Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture."
--C.E. Williams, chairman of the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District in White Deer.
Williams has been involved with AgriLife Extension as a 4-H livestock leader, Carson County Extension executive board chairman, Carson County Livestock Association member and announcer at Carson County Junior Livestock Show, said Jody Bradford, AgriLife Extension agent in Carson County.
"C.E. continues to serve as a leader who is instrumental in identifying issues that affect the residents of Carson County," Bradford said. "As a speaker at numerous AgriLife Extension programs, district irrigation conferences and other educational events, he has helped provide information and data on groundwater availability, conservation and management to residents in a timely manner."
--Minnie Lou Bradley, Childress County rancher. Bradley can be best described as a visionary of agriculture, said Lonnie Jenschke, AgriLife Extension agent in Childress County. Bradley is dedicated to making time for Extension programs and is always open to sharing information to producers and providing educational information about the value-added beef program provided through their meat packing plant, B3R Country Meats.
"Being ahead of her time in marketing and research is a simple way to describe her," Jenschke said. "Minnie Lou has been a rancher for 53 years and has seen many changes in the beef cattle industry. Even after selling B3R Meats, she still participates in Extension programs and hosts programs on her ranch to help educate producers."
--Ted F. Conover, president and chief executive officer of The Bank of Tyler, a division of Huntington State Bank. Conover serves on the state advisory board for the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program and is a member of the East Texas Beef Industry Roundtable, sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension Service, said Brian Triplett, AgriLife Extension agent in Smith County.
Conover has a cattle operation with his two sons in East Texas and is involved in a cattle partnership with his brother, Triplett said. He is co-owner of a ranch in South Texas which has been recognized by the Texas Family Land Heritage Program for being owned and in continuous agricultural operation by the same family for over 100 years.
--Jerry Lackey, writer of agricultural news and author of the Windmill Country column in the San Angelo Standard Times.
Lackey has been a professional communicator for more than 50 years, said Steve Sturtz, AgriLife Extension agent for Tom Green County. For many of those years, his career as an agricultural journalist, farm broadcaster and television personality have overlapped. He recently retired as the regional farm broadcaster for Voice of Southwest Agriculture Radio Network/Clear Channel Ag Networks. "Production agriculture is indebted to Jerry for his accurate, timely and educational reporting which keeps the general public informed of the importance of agriculture to our economy and how it is affected by local, state and world events," Sturtz said.
--Jim McCord, owner of JM Cattle Company with operations in Brazos, Burleson, Milam, Robertson and Washington counties. Embracing the mission of AgriLife Extension, McCord has devoted much of his time to assisting with the implementation of agriculture educational events in Brazos County, said Eric Zimmerman, AgriLife Extension agent in Brazos County. He has served on the Brazos County Beef and Forage Committee, Brazos Area Hay Producers Association, Pizza Ranch Agriculture Awareness Committee, Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Council, the Texas Forage and Grassland Council and the Brazos County Leadership Advisory Board.
"Serving as a voice for Extension, Jim McCord excels in telling our story," Zimmerman said. "From making contacts for our local Elected Official's Luncheon, to consulting with state legislators on the many benefits that Extension supplies to the residents of Texas, Jim is always on call and willing to be an Extension advocate."
--Jeff Nunley, executive director of South Texas Cotton and Grain Association in Victoria. Nunley has been an outspoken advocate for agriculture and an unwavering supporter of AgriLife Extension programs in Texas, said Joe Janak Jr., agricultural and natural resources agent in Victoria County. Nunley has directed association support for county crop tours, special cotton and grain field days, integrated pest management research projects, county demonstrations and applied research, and major educational events for the Gulf Coast region.
"Jeff is a firm believer that the future of agriculture depends on providing educational opportunities for today's youth and leadership opportunities for farmers," Janak said. "Through his leadership, South Texas Cotton Grain Association has established endowments at Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University to provide scholarships for congressional intern programs, and is an annual supporter of the TALL (Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership) program."
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