October 30, 2009
Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources will honor three Texas leaders with the Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturalist awards on Thursday (Nov. 5) during its annual Pig Roast, which honors scholarship donors, recipients and intercollegiate judging teams, at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Banquet Hall.
The annual awards recognize individuals for contributions to various areas of Texas agriculture. This year’s recipients are Gordon Davis of Lubbock for agribusiness, Jimmie Ruth Evans of San Antonio for public service, and Dave Hopper of Hereford for agricultural production.
Davis is founder and chairman of CEV Multimedia Ltd. Company officials note that agricultural education and agriculture teachers are the cornerstone of CEV’s customer base, contributing to more than 50 percent of CEV’s sales annually.
Davis previously served as an assistant professor and associate professor at Texas Tech and currently works as an adjunct professor with CASNR’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences. In 1985, 1996 and 2005 Davis co-founded three endowments for meat science excellence administered by Texas Tech, including the Gordon W. Davis Regent’s Chair in Meat & Muscle Biology currently held by muscle biologist Bradley Johnson.
He coached two national championship meat judging teams (Texas A&M University 1973; Texas Tech 1989) and was the recipient of Distinguished Master’s Graduate Student, Texas A&M (1975). He is the recipient of an outstanding teacher award and hall of fame distinguished service awards from the Department of Animal Science (Texas Tech 2004; Washington State University 2008); along with the Tom Glazier Award for Texas FFA (2008) and Passion for Excellence Award-Texas FFA Foundation (2008).
Evans is a native of San Antonio. Raised on the Wittenburg Ranch near Rocksprings, Evans graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in 1971. Her major was elementary education and her minor was American history. She began her career as a fifth grade teacher at Randolph Air Force Base following graduation from Texas Tech. She is a life member and volunteer for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. She has served as president and senior vice president for the organization in the past.
Evans has served on Texas Tech’s Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Management Advisory Board, Agrifood Education Council and the 4-H Foundation Board. She also has worked with the 4-H Scholarship Advisory Committee, International Agritech Center, and the West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation Board. She is a member of the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association, and currently is co-chairman of the Girl Scouts Capital Campaign.
She is the recipient of the Freeman Award for commitment and support of Texas Agribusiness, Texas Tech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Appreciation Award for Area III from the Career and Technology Administrators of Texas, an honorary FFA degree and the Texas 4-H Alumni Award. Evans has been inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame in Agriculture, and been recognized for her lifetime of exemplary volunteer work by the Texas Senate.
Hopper earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech in 1955 and a Bachelor of Science in agricultural education in 1957. He was a member of the Texas Tech National Intercollegiate Championship Rodeo Team in 1955 and was the 1957 National Intercollegiate Bareback Riding Champion.
He traveled the rodeo circuit for 14 years as a professional rodeo cowboy. In 1967, he began working as a mill manager for Easley Feedyard in Hereford. After two years he moved to Fort Worth to become a buyer and sales representative for the Vann-Roach Cattle Company. He moved back to Hereford where he served as president and partner of Champion Feeders for more than three decades.
Hopper has served on the board of directors for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and the National Cattlemen’s Association, as well as working on a variety of committees for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. His community service includes working with the Hereford Lion’s Club, Deaf Smith County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Whiteface Booster Club Board of Directors, and the Hereford YMCA Board of Directors. Hopper served on the board of directors and as president of the Texas Tech Red Raider Club, as well as receiving CASNR’s Natural Resources Distinguished Alumnus Award (2000).