Contact: Donald Kelm, 254-968-4144, Ext. 204; firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis was presented the Extension in the City Award today at a ceremony held in the Rudder Theater on the campus of Texas A&M University.
The award, presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, an educational outreach agency of the Texas A&M University System, is given to elected leaders whose support of AgriLife Extension has significantly contributed to the success of agency’s outreach to urban audiences.
“Urban programs are a cornerstone of our agency’s educational outreach,” said Dr. Doug Steele, AgriLife Extension director, College Station. “We are grateful to community leaders like Dan Gattis, who has dedicated his life to public service, for their support in helping us bring research-based, objective, practical information to more people in urban areas.”
Gattis was sworn in as Williamson County Judge in 2007 and is a fifth-generation county resident. He has served his community as a rancher, teacher and education administrator.
According to the award nomination, in 2009 the Williamson County Commissioners Court had to make the difficult budgetary decision to reduce staffing. The resulting loss of a natural resources educator left AgriLife Extension with only three agent positions to serve a 500,000-plus population.
“Judge Gattis’ personal support of AgriLife Extension education never waned,” said Donald Kelm, district administrator for the agency’s District 8, Stephenville. “He not only worked to help us get that position back, but also to add a new horticulture position for Williamson County. And it was in large part to his efforts that in we plan to move the Williamson County office into a larger, more updated facility in 2018.”
According to the award nomination, Gattis’ support has enabled AgriLife Extension county educators to expand in-depth experiences for youth enrolled in 4-H learning projects as well as increase the number of curriculum enrichment programs offered through area schools each year
Kelm also noted Gattis’ support of AgriLife Extension through his role as a rancher and formerly as chief operating officer for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“Judge Gattis was always supportive of providing us with professional development opportunities through the stock show and rodeo and by allowing us to use his ranch for educational demonstrations and programs,” Kelm said.
According to the award citation, Judge Gattis has been a steadfast partner in ensuring the future of Extension education for the people of Williamson County.