Build East Texas honors two with Bill and Mary Clements Memorial Award

Two Tyler area residents, Ted Conover and Darren Rozel, named

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191,

TYLER – Two Tyler residents Ted Conover and Darren Rozel, were presented the Build East Texas Bill and Mary Clements Memorial Award at the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership banquet held Jan. 19 in Tyler.
The organization presents its awards every two years. Rozell received the 2014 award; Conover the 2015 award.

Conover is a fifth-generation Texan who has been very involved with the Build East Texas Committee and the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program, according to the award documentation. He began his career with the Palestine branch of the Federal Land Bank Association of Tyler in 1974. He was promoted to vice president and relocated to Tyler in 1983. He entered the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University and graduated in 1999. He was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2015.

Though technically retired, Conover serves on various boards, including as vice chairman of the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority and the State Advisory Board for the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program. He also continues working on his family farm, the JV Cattle Co., and is a realtor with Cornerstone Brokerage in Tyler.

His past awards include the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in Agriculture from the Texas Ag Workers Insurance Company, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension District 5 Man of Year in Agriculture award by the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association.

Rozell is the owner of Rozell Peach Farm, Rozell Ag Products and Rozell Arborjet Services, all based in the Tyler area. He has long been involved with numerous AgriLife Extension programming efforts and has served in a variety of leadership positions in Smith County, according to the award documentation.

His leadership roles include serving on the Leadership Advisory Board for Smith County and as member of the Livestock and Forage Improvement committee.

He has been a key “donor/sponsor for many AgriLife Extension educational programs and result demonstrations, as well as huge supporter to the Texas County Agriculture Agents Association,” according the documentation.

Rozell has served as chairman of the Build East Texas Committee, and is a Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leader graduate.

The purpose of the Build East Texas program, informally known as BET, is to improve the agricultural income of East Texas citizens by encouraging the adoption and application of the newest technology and developing marketing systems. BET works with area agribusinesses, develops local leadership, and strives to beautify and best utilize East Texas natural resources.

The Build East Texas Program area consists of 37 counties in East Texas, including Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Freestone, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Jasper, Leon, Madison, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Walker and Wood.

Membership of the BET Program is voluntary and is open to everyone. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research work closely with the program.

Those wishing more information about BET membership or its programs should contact their local county AgriLife Extension office.

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