COLLEGE STATION — Dr. Monte Dozier, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program director for agriculture and natural resources, has received the agency’s Superior Service Award in the agency leadership category.
The award, presented Jan. 8 during the annual Texas A&M AgriLife Conference in College Station, is given to those who demonstrate outstanding performance or provide exceptional service to AgriLife Extension, an educational outreach agency of the Texas A&M University System.
In his award nomination, Dozier was praised for being a frontrunner in organizing and leading “Operation No Fences,” a massive recovery effort after Texas was hit on Sept. 12, 2008 by Hurricane Ike.
The storm came ashore with an 18-foot storm surge that devastated several coastal counties of southeast Texas, including Orange, Jefferson, Galveston and Chambers counties, the nomination stated. Miles of pasture fences were washed away, displacing 20,000 head of cattle while the storm’s saltwater ruined fresh water drinking locations and rendered forage useless.
Dozier organized and led AgriLife Extension’s role in the massive multi-agency and volunteer effort that provided hay, feed and clean drinking water for the dislocated livestock. More than $100,000 of donated fence posts and barbed wire was distributed and installed for nearly 100 ranchers in the area.
“Through this effort, 6,500 round bales of hay, 3,000 square bales of hay, 165 tons of livestock feed, 400 water troughs and 10,000 units of cattle vaccine were collected and distributed throughout the surge-impact zone,” the nomination states. “The recovery effort yielded an estimated $8.3 million in savings to the citizens of Texas by reducing the number of dead livestock that would have resulted had nothing been done.
“This was a time when AgriLife Extension needed strong leaders in place to meet the needs of the people of Texas and Monty Dozier along with others stepped up and delivered,” the nomination stated.
It also also cited Dozier for his efforts to educate citrus growers, nursery managers and the public about the potentially devastating citrus greening disease, as well as his “on-boarding” efforts to orient newly hired AgriLife Extension county agents and employees.
In a letter supporting Dozier’s nomination, Dr. Andy Vestal, an AgriLife Extension specialist and professor, attests to Dozier’s enthusiasm, compassion, integrity and technical competencies based on his years of success as a county agent, AgriLife Extension specialist and now as a regional program director.
“I have observed Dr. Dozier’s leadership as he supported AgriLife Extension county agents and specialists to adopt innovative local, regional and statewide educational programs,” he wrote.
In another letter of support, Cullen Tittle, an AgriLife Extension county agent for Burleson County, wrote that Dozier’s leadership approach is supportive, positive, constructive and futuristic and that “he works to ensure the agents he supports understand expectations.
“He is the epitome of an Extension professional in that he is accessible, responsive, knowledgeable and caring towards everyone he meets.”