New AgriLife Extension hire to deal with feral hog issues

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu
Contact: Dr. Jim Cathey, 979-845-0916, jccathey@ag.tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – Mark Tyson was recently hired as a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate to work on the Lone Star Healthy Streams program’s feral hog issues, said his supervisor, Dr. Jim Cathey, AgriLife Extension associate department head and program leader at College Station.

Mark Tyson (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Mark Tyson (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Tyson will be headquartered in College Station, developing and delivering educational materials to landowners in Grimes, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, Brazoria, Galveston, Fort Bend, Austin, Colorado and Wharton counties, Cathey said.
“Landowners work hard to reduce the negative impacts feral hogs have on land and water sources,” Cathey said. “Tyson will build on past efforts including 16 AgriLife Extension publications and five videos now available that teach feral hog biology and trapping techniques. He’ll also conduct personal landowner visits and provide guidance on removing feral hogs from the landscape.”
Existing materials can be found at  feralhogs.tamu.edu, plumcreek.tamu.edu/feralhogs and extension.org/feral hogs .
Cathey said feral hogs are a non-native invasive species that cause about $52 million in damages annually to Texas farms, ranches and the agricultural industry.
“For most people, feral hogs are a neighbor you just don’t want,” Tyson said, referring to feral hog damage and their contributions of E. coli bacteria to Texas streams. “I am glad to have the opportunity to work with landowners, as they are the ones who can do the most good to reduce feral hog populations.”
Tyson earned a bachelor’s degree from Sul Ross State University at Alpine and a master’s degree from Texas Tech University.
While attending Sul Ross, he worked as a student biologist for a 32,000-acre Hudspeth County ranch. He later worked as a research assistant evaluating coyote diets on the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch near Roby.
Tyson, a Bryan native, joined the U.S. Navy after high school and served aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln until his honorable discharge in 2003 when he returned to complete his education.
“Mark will make a great resource for the folks in the counties he will be serving – hogs beware,” Cathey said.
Tyson’s position is funded through a Clean Water Act §319(h) nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to Cathey.

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