Durham completes 35-year career Aug. 31
SAN ANGELO – Michael “Scott” Durham, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s district Extension director at San Angelo, will retire effective Aug. 31.
Durham has served as district director since 1996. In that role, he has been responsible for providing leadership, supervision and management for AgriLife Extension agents and support staffs across the 23 counties comprising the West Central District, also known as District 7.
He held similar positions in Vernon from 1993-1996 and in Overton from 1990-1993.
Durham began his AgriLife Extension career as an assistant county agent-agriculture in Lee County, serving there from 1979-1981. He then transferred to Bandera County as the AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture in 1981. He later moved to Comal County as the agriculture agent in 1987, his final stop before advancing to his district administrative roles.
Durham has shied away from public recognition throughout his career, but said his best personal rewards as an AgriLife Extension agent and later as an administrator have come from helping others.
“My greatest joy as a county agent was the privilege of seeing the producers I worked with and the youth I mentored succeed,” Durham said.
“It’s a great feeling as an agent to be able to watch kids grow up and develop positive life skills and strong lifetime relationships through the 4-H youth program. It’s been equally rewarding as an administrator to watch these youth succeed in a variety of professional areas. Even more so, it’s been very uplifting to hire some of these same young people as county agents and then guide them toward successful career paths within the agency.
“From the adult producer standpoint, it’s great to watch producers I’ve worked with over the years grow in their success and become respected experts and leaders not only within their communities, but in many cases, on state and national levels as well. As our agency’s motto states, this has truly been a career centered around ‘people helping people.’”
Durham earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in agriculture, both from Texas A&M University, College Station.
Though he shuns the spotlight, Durham will receive a special award from the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association during their annual convention in Kerrville later this month. The award will be given for his years of service and support of the Texas sheep and goat industry.