Jim Prewitt, owner of Landmark Nurseries Inc. and who helped guide the Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership, TALL, program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service through key advisory roles, died April 10 at the age of 80.
Prewitt provided additional support through Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where he was a founding member and chair of the Floriculture Advisory Committee and supporter of the Congressional internship program. Prewitt also served on the Texas A&M College of Agriculture Development Council.
“Jim Prewitt’s passion for helping educate the next generation of Texas agricultural leaders and promoting Texas agriculture has left a legacy,” said Patrick J. Stover Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “His generosity, vision and commitment to teaching and creating learning opportunities will last for generations. We are grateful for his leadership and support of Texas A&M AgriLife. He was a giant in Texas agriculture and a model for all of us.”
Growing a business and leadership advocacy
Prewitt founded Landmark Nurseries in the early 1980s, later transitioning the company from providing landscaping services for commercial and residential customers to opening the first of his wholesale nurseries in Garland. Landmark Nurseries evolved into one of the largest wholesale grower/distributors in the southwest.
“Mr. Prewitt epitomized leadership in the agricultural industry,” said Chris Skaggs, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor of producer relations and associate dean of undergraduate programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M. “He was a strong advocate for youth involvement in agricultural pursuits through his never-ending support of the state 4-H and FFA organizations, the State Fair of Texas Youth Livestock Auction and the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program at Texas A&M to name a few. He was a firm believer in leadership from ourselves and devoted his life to developing leaders of tomorrow.”
Prewitt said during his address to a TALL class cohort in 2016, “You are so fortunate to be in agriculture and live in this great state. We must do a better job in our industry of telling people about agriculture. We must have advocates for agriculture.”
Advocate for Texas agriculture
Prewitt was reared on the family farm and dairy in East Texas near Kirbyville. After losing his arm as a boy in a farming accident, he was determined it would never deter him in life or work. While growing up, he gained a deep appreciation for agriculture, pursuing a profession in the nursery industry. Prewitt served as Texas FFA president and as National FFA vice president – two key leadership roles that laid the path for advocacy of agriculture.
Advocating for Texas agriculture and helping educate future leaders was a natural fit for Prewitt, said Jim Mazurkiewicz, Ph.D., TALL program director.
“His generosity was second to none, and his passion to help the next generation through education was his mission in life,” Mazurkiewicz said. “Mr. Prewitt gave of his time, talent and treasures to the benefit of many. His service and leadership will be missed by the TALL program and all the organizations he supported.”
Mazurkiewicz said there was no other person more passionate and supportive of 4-H, FFA youth and the TALL program, helping educate the next generation of Texas agriculture leaders and promoting Texas agriculture.
Upon presenting Prewitt with the TALL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Mazurkiewicz said, “Mr. Prewitt’s virtue and sincerity in supporting agricultural education have challenged each of us to rise to the occasion and help change the world through education. His legacy of teaching others will continue for generations through the lives that he has touched and the impact he has made. It is without question that Mr. Jim Prewitt stands TALL as a true Texas icon.”
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. April 19 at South Garland Baptist Church in Garland.
Memorial gifts may be directed to the TALL Foundation/Mr. Jim Prewitt Memorial Fund — TALL Foundation, 2137 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2137 or visit tall.tamu.edu.