Texas A&M AgriLife’s Long recognized for effort encouraging East Texas agriculture

OVERTON – Dr. Charles Long, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton, was recently awarded the 2017 Build East Texas Award for excellence in agricultural research and extension.

As the center’s director for 35 years, Long has led and continues to lead AgriLife Research faculty. 

Dr. Charles Long (left) receiving the Build East Texas Award for excellence in agricultural research and extension from state Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola. (Photo credit Tyler Today Magazine)

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

“The people are what it’s all about,” Long said. “The past and present faculty and staff at the Overton center provide information that helps East Texans accomplish their business and personal goals. We hope our efforts add to their prosperity and quality of life.”

Research during Long’s tenure includes:

– nationally recognized bedding plant trials that serve consumers and the $1.2 billion Texas ornamental horticulture industry.

– guidelines developed for the use of superfine lime proven to boost forage production.

– three new varieties of forage ryegrass and seven new varieties of forage legumes with seed sale and calf-gain values of $2.3 billion.

– long-term research to improve reproductive management of Brahman cattle.

Nearly 200 graduate degrees have also been earned by students who conducted research in Overton and were guided by center faculty.

Long said faculty and staff at the center have received more than 100 local, state and national awards since 1987.

“It’s nice when your friends, neighbors and colleagues think you’ve done an alright job and give recognition,” he said. “I appreciate it. It makes me appreciate the work done by the faculty and staff at Overton and the support of my family, especially my wife, Jeannette, who has put up with me for 52 years.”

Build East Texas consists of 37 counties, 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 in Build East Texas is voluntary and open to everyone. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research work closely with the program.

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

 

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