I was honored to serve as chair of the search advisory committee for the new director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. It was a pleasure to work with such a diverse committee. Each member brought a unique perspective and special talents to the process, and the committee worked very hard to identify a slate of outstanding candidates. Special thanks are due Patricia Gerling and Theresa Nemec for their many hours of behind-the-scenes work to ensure the process was thorough, fair, and easy for the candidates as well as the committee.
As we welcome Director Steele to the AgriLife family, I can’t help commenting on the importance of the Extension-Research circle that makes our land-grant system great. AgriLife Extension helps Texans identify their most important needs and then informs AgriLife Research of knowledge gaps that we should address. When new information is available, it is delivered back to the people through Extension programming, where, once again, new issues are identified and circled back to Research. This is the paradigm under which Director Smith and I worked closely together. It is also Director Steele’s philosophy.
Director Steele and I also have personal circles that we are closing in Texas. Both of us left The Texas A&M University System to pursue opportunities in other states. I am proud to say we both realized that Texas really is the land of opportunity, with its wonderful character and spirit. Welcome home, Doug. I can tell you it feels good to close the circle. I know you will agree.