The Texas County Agricultural Agents Association, TCAAA, recently recognized outstanding Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service professionals and those who support their efforts at the Professional Excellence Awards Luncheon and Man/Woman of the Year Banquet in Amarillo.
Man/Woman of the Year Awards
TCAAA bestowed Man and Woman of the Year in Texas Agriculture awards to individuals in recognition of their outstanding leadership in agriculture or agribusiness as well as their support of AgriLife Extension educational programming efforts. Awardees and their related districts were:
District 1 – County Judge Don Allred has served as the Oldham County judge for the past 29 years. He has been a supporter of agriculture and especially AgriLife Extension programs all his life, believing in the importance of the agency’s education, both at the adult level and through its youth programs.
District 1 – Ross Wilson is president and CEO of Texas Cattle Feeders Association, headquartered in Amarillo. Wilson has been a volunteer adult leader for the Randall County 4-H youth programs, where his two children were actively involved in Randall County’s 4-H horse program and also exhibited lambs.
District 3 – Doug and Jill Dunkel live on the family ranch in Archer City. The Dunkel family are huge supporters of the entire 4-H program where they and their children have been involved in almost every aspect. Doug Dunkel serves on the local youth livestock board and is a huge supporter at the district and state horse shows, where he assists by providing cattle, setting up patterns and helping youth.
District 5 – Linda Jordens Galayda operates Jordens Cattle Company, a commercial Brangus cow/calf ranch in Anderson County, which is part of the 7-7 Ranch Family Limited Partnership. She serves on the Beef and Forage Committee and Ag and Natural Resources Advisory Board in Anderson County.
District 7 – Ken Jordan leads the family business, Jordan Cattle Auction, which has been an integral part of the cattle industry in the Texas Hill Country area, as well as in Texas and nationally. Jordan contributes his facilities, knowledge and time to AgriLife Extension across county, district and regional programming efforts.
District 9 – Vince Patranella will be celebrating 50 years with Brazos Bottom Crop Care in 2021. In those 50 years he has hired more than 200 Texas A&M University students, some being sons and daughters of original student employees who have gone on to be successful in various agricultural fields.
District 11 – Charles Ring Jr. has long been an advocate of AgriLife Extension. He serves on the Crops Committee and cooperates with county dryland corn trials, as well as grows both irrigated and dryland corn trials for the Crop Testing Lab in College Station.
Specialists of the Year
DeDe Jones, risk management program specialist, Amarillo, provides support and education for producers in the Texas High Plains. Her primary activities focus on analyzing the financial performance and associated risk of agricultural decisions through the FARM Assistance program. She also conducts computer short courses relating to Quick Books financial software.
David Anderson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, College Station, has offered many different programs related to livestock marketing and food marketing workshops for agency clientele. Most recently he has given various updates to clientele on the beef cattle industry and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distinguished Service Awards
Awards presented by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, NACAA, during the state event, included the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award a county extension agent can receive from the national association. Recipients must be with the agency for at least 10 years and are selected based upon outstanding professional growth, program effectiveness, leadership ability, loyalty to work and community involvement.
All Distinguished Service Award recipients will be honored at the NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
AgriLife Extension personnel who received the Distinguished Service Award and their counties were: David Graf, Wichita; Tommy Yeater, Howard; Michael Palmer, Coleman; Michelle Mihalek, Montgomery; Pascual Hernandez, Sutton; and Marcel Valdez, Zavala.
AgriLife Extension personnel also received the national level Achievement Award, which is presented annually by the NACAA to recognize agents with less than 10 years of service for their outstanding professional growth and contribution to Extension. Achievement Award recipients also will be honored at the NACAA conference.
The Achievement Award winners were Caitlyn Jackson, Crosby County; Elizabeth Rudd, Dallas County; Matt Garrett, Harrison County; Floyd Ingram IV, Milam County; James Boone Holladay, Fort Bend County; and Candace Moeller, Refugio County.
Early Career Awards
Early Career awards, which recognize and encourage professional excellence for members with less than five years of service, were presented to Megan Eikner, Potter; Geoff Cooper, Terry; Christina Reid, Lubbock; Brandon Cave, Kent; Kaycee Davis, Camp; Preston Sturdivant, Anderson; Shane Bridges, San Augustine; Sami Lindsey, Crane; Tanner Hash, Martin; Laci Kennedy, Irion; T.J. Cummings, Eastland; Helen Hardy, Erath; Allen Homann, Grimes; Geri Kline, Lee; Beth McMahon, Gillespie; Taylor Osbourn, Gillespie; Landen Gulick, Bee; and Jesus Rodriquez, Zapata.
Search for Excellence Awards
Search for Excellence Awards recognize members who have developed and carried out outstanding extension educational programming in specific subject matters. Michael Hiller, Jackson, earned four awards in the areas of crop production, commercial and consumer horticulture, livestock production and sustainable agriculture. Other winners were Robert Scott, Lubbock, 4-H programming; and Zachary Davis, Denton, young, beginning or small farmers/ranchers.
Outstanding County Agriculture Agent Awards
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association – Dwight Sexton, Gonzales County.
Texas Corn Producers Board – Mike Bragg, Dallam/Hartley counties.
Texas Cotton Association – Steve Estes, Taylor County.
Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board – Bryan Davis, Wilson County.
Texas Wheat Producers Board – Zach Davis, Hill County.
Texas Association of Dairymen – Greg Gruben, Scurry County.
Turfgrass Producers of Texas – Karl Winge, Callahan County.
TCAAA Communication Awards recognize NACAA members who excel in communication programs to clientele. The first-place winner in each category advances to NACAA Southern Region Competition.
First place communication award winners, county and category were: Marshall Tolleson, Grayson, audio recording; Matthew March, Polk, computer-generated graphic; Elizabeth McMahon, Gillespie, individual newsletter; Michael Hiller, Courtney Mercer and Kelley Drastata, Jackson, team newsletter; Janet Laminack, Denton, personal column; Brady Timmons, Hood, promotional piece; Andy Holloway, Hemphill, website and video presentation; Cary Sims, Angelina, photo; and Chase Brooke, Collin, publication and fact sheet.
Retiring TCAAA members recognized for their service and leadership included Randy Reeves, Gregg, and Kit Horne, Taylor.
Youth scholarship award winners and their home counties are Jackson Bochat, Goliad; Madilynn Caperton, Madison; Kyle Coward, Coryell; Catarina Hernandez, Sutton; Guthri Jenschke, Erath; Joshua Kingston, Erath; Levi Lopez, Frio; Evan Potter, Montgomery; Grayson Sims, Angelina; Gabe Sumrall, Matagorda; Wade Tittle, Brazos; Adaline Utley, Hockley; and Brooke Yanta, Goliad.
The Agent Advance Degree Scholarship was presented to Sierra Stephens, Yoakum.
Texas Extension Specialists Association – Kristy Slough, Hutchinson; Mike Bragg, Dallam/Hartley; and Matt Whiteley, Hansford.