WESLACO — Ashley Gregory has been appointed the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate for water programs at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, according to Dr. Ruben Saldana, the district AgriLife Extension administrator.
“Ashley is no stranger to the South Texas agricultural community,” Saldana said, “having worked here at the center for several years, most recently in vegetable and food safety issues with Dr. Juan Anciso, our citrus and vegetable specialist. Over the years, she has shown herself to be a quick study, knowledgeable, easy to work with and committed to quality and a job well done. I’m pleased to announce her new appointment and look forward to her assistance with South Texas water issues which are critical to our area.”
Gregory began her new duties Feb. 1, Saldana said. She will assume many of the duties previously managed and supported by Donnie Valdez, but the position description was broadened to include a greater scope of water programming efforts, including extensive efforts in identifying and developing grants and resources to further expand the scope of water programming in South Texas.
“Retaining programs and expertise in water quality and conservation is important to our region as Texas A&M AgriLife does its share in working with growers, irrigation districts, cities and other stakeholders to contribute to practical and lasting solutions to the water challenges we have,” he said.
Gregory has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Texas State University and is completing a master’s degree in plant and soil sciences from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
“The duties of my job include working with the Texas Water Resources Institute to plan and implement field days and educational meetings on water conservation issues for local commodity groups and Extension county agents,” Gregory said. “I’ll also be seeking funding sources for future water quality improvement and conservation projects for both urban and agricultural settings.”
Because water is such a critical commodity, Gregory said it’s especially important that agricultural producers conserve as much water as they can while still producing the food and fiber necessary to meet the demands of a growing population.
“My role will be to facilitate their conservation efforts by increasing awareness of water quality and conservation practices, as well as seeking funding sources to implement those practices.”
Gregory said she’ll be collaborating with water experts in many agencies, including Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Water Development Board and others.