In life, there are not a lot of certainties. However, for Meredith Neely ’02 there were two that centered around Texas A&M University and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

One was that Texas A&M was the university she wanted to attend.

“A&M was the only choice for me, and the only place I applied,” Neely said. 

The second came while Neely was earning her degree in agribusiness from the Department of Agricultural Economics when one of her professors introduced her to the College of Agriculture Development Council, COADC.

A woman, Meredith Neely, stand with a horse. She is wearing a black top with blue jeans. The horse is brown with a dark mane.
Meredith Neely, who chairs the College of Agriculture Development Council, is an advisory board member for the Weston Agrifood Sales Program. Neely and her daughter are members of the Texas Quarter Horse Association and regularly travel to competitions. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

“I was in a senior-level prep course taught by Dr. James Siebert, and he suggested that I look into COADC,” Neely said. “He said I should reach out and get involved. I went to my first meeting, and I was sold. I joined right after I graduated.”

Now, 20-plus years after attending that first meeting, Neely is the individual leading the meetings, chairing the volunteer organization committed to supporting the College and its students. 

Texas A&M or bust

Neely was born in Lubbock but spent much of her life in the Brazos Valley attending high school in Franklin. Her family had graduates from Texas Tech and Baylor University, but there were no Aggies.

Living near College Station, Neely was quickly influenced by all things Aggie. As a teenager, her parents gave her the opportunity to attend various Texas A&M camps and took her to events on campus. Her early exposure to Aggieland solidified her decision to pursue higher education in College Station. 

“In my mind, that was my only option because I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” Neely said. “There was no backup plan. I was ready for college, and I was excited to be at Texas A&M. I cannot say enough good things about the people who make up the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”

Since graduation, Neely has pursued a career in real estate sales and appraisal and currently works in the farm and ranch real estate business.

“As a real estate broker, I’m in the relationship business,” Neely said. 

She said the friends and relationships she has built over the years because of her involvement in the COADC are something she treasures. 

“Being a member of COADC is about giving back and being a part of something bigger than ourselves,” Neely said. “That’s why I joined COADC. It’s my Aggie family.”

Giving back 

Over the years, Neely has had a continued desire to help young people. She was fortunate to have people who positively impacted her life as a young person and realizes how even a single positive experience can change the trajectory or help the course of a young person’s path as they navigate this world. As chair of COADC, Neely has placed an emphasis on development efforts to expand the council’s philanthropic efforts. 

Although there are many ways the COADC supports young people and the College, the most recognized way is through the matching funds program for endowed scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to more than 90 students each year. To date, more than $4.4 million has been provided in financial aid to students within the College. 

Membership dues provide the funds to match member-directed endowed scholarships at $12,500 or $25,000. This is where Neely’s comment about “being part of something bigger than ourselves” originates. Though she was not in a position to create an endowed scholarship early in her membership, Neely said she knew through the matching fund program she was contributing to each scholarship endowed over the course of her membership. 

“It was a proud moment,” said Neely of being able to create her own scholarship, The COADC Hope Endowed Scholarship. 

About the College of Agriculture Development Council

The members of COADC include both former students and friends of the College, many of whom are industry leaders across the state and nation. Members have exclusive benefits and a strong nationwide network of professionals in agriculture and life sciences, but most importantly they serve as advocates for the College. 

The council engages with students and provides opportunities to help them advance personally, professionally and academically. 

Members of the council are dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students studying in all areas of agriculture and life sciences. 

“The COADC embodies the spirit of lifting others up,” Neely said.

For more information about the council, visit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email