AgriLife Extension employees in South Central Texas earn top agency award

Superior Service Award garnered by personnel in Bexar, Gonzales, Uvalde, Wilson counties

Contact: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

BRYAN — Employees of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service serving the South Central Texas area were recognized by the agency’s top recognition – the Superior Service Award – during a ceremony held Jan. 9 in Bryan.

The award recognizes AgriLife Extension personnel who provide outstanding performance in education or other outstanding service to the organization and Texans.

“These award winners are to be commended for the exemplary work they do each day in helping Texans better their lives through continuing education that helps meet society’s challenges,” said Dr. Doug Steele, agency director.

Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Wilson County, received a Superior Service Award in the category of county agent. Davis, an agriculture and natural resources agent for 16 years, was cited in his nomination for his use of technology to help area landowners, as well as his work in the areas of water conservation and education, feral hog management and various educational field days and programs. The nomination also noted his work related to the South Texas Farm and Ranch Club, Winter Row Crop Symposium, Fall Pasture Program, Carr Ranch Gathering, San Antonio All Breeds Bull Sale and an area hay testing campaign.

Dwight Sexton, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Gonzales County also was presented a Superior Service Award in the county agent category. Sexton, who has served in that capacity for more than 18 years, provides information and technical assistance to county residents in the areas of beef cattle, forages, pecans, horticulture and natural resources education. In his award nomination, he was cited for his work in improving forage production through educational programming as well as his work supporting the Luling Foundation, Gonzales County Hay Show, Gonzales County Beef and Forage Committee, Gonzales County Master Gardener and Junior Master Gardener programs, along with youth water fairs and agricultural literacy programs.

Dr. Melinda Garcia, AgriLife Extension program specialist, 4-H youth development and Children, Youth and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) coordinator for Bexar and Harris counties, received a Superior Service award in the category of diversity. Garcia was cited for her work with the CYFAR program and the Juntos 4-H program. These programs, which target primarily minority and at-risk youth, focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, subjects, plus emphasize the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. Her award nomination cited these efforts as well as those to expose youth to higher education through visits to area colleges and universities and conducting programs on their campuses. It also cited the CYFAR and Juntos 4-H programs for providing many opportunities to for participants to become involved in a community service activities.

Three AgriLife employees from Bexar and Uvalde counties shared recognition as part of the statewide Earth-Kind Educational Outreach Team. They were Dr. Larry Stein, associate department head, horticulture, and AgriLife Extension specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Uvalde; David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Bexar County; and Paul Schattenberg, communications specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications, San Antonio.

Earth-Kind is an AgriLife Extension program designed to help consumers and green industry identify and implement science-based, environmentally sound landscape and gardening practices to reduce water and chemical use. In the award nomination, the team was cited for its National Center of Excellence in Earth-Kind Outreach, Earth-Kind landscape design and management schools, Earth-Kind Leadership Tour and state, national and international outreach activities.

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Source: Agriculture Section – AgriLife Feed

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