Twenty three graduate from Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program

Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259,

COLLEGE STATION – Twenty-three agricultural industry leaders completed a two-year commitment as part of the Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Cohort XV graduation ceremonies held in College Station.

(Left) Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program director, and Allen Moczygemba, chief executive officer of the American Angus Association and TALL III alumnus, at the TALL XV graduation ceremonies in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin)

Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership, or TALL, is a program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  

“You are to be commended for the commitment and hard work put into these two years of educational programming that now has equipped you to become leaders in any aspect of your professional lives whether it be in agriculture or business here or abroad,” said Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, TALL program director.

Dr. Parr Rosson, interim director of AgriLife Extension challenged the graduates to build upon the leadership and enginuity of past generations.

“As we think about our country, it’s folks in this cohort and previous cohorts that make a difference,” he said. “Seeing and making a difference, seizing the opportunity. I challenge you to always be looking ahead five to six years down the road.”

Jim Prewitt, chairman of the TALL Foundation and CEO of Landmark Nurseries Inc. provided the opening welcome.

“Only 5  percent of the people in this world make things happen and only 1 percent actually lead,” Prewitt said. “I encourage you to be part of that 1 percent. I want you to join that 1 percent club.”

Jim McAdams, past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and TALL II alumni, and Allen Moczygemba, chief executive officer of the American Angus Association and TALL III alumni, were commencement speakers.

“Leadership is about having vision,” Moczygemba said. “Being part of the TALL program led me to a career that I never would have envisioned.”

McAdams said, “I encourage you all to go out, use what you have learned as part of this extraordinary TALL experience, and become part of that 1 percent club.”

TALL XV graduates are:

–       Ramon Alvarez, Rio Hondo.

–       Brett Bamert, Muleshoe.

–       Jennifer Blackburn, Shallowater.

–       April Bonds, Saginaw.

–       Lee Burton, Albany.

–       Clifton Castle, Lubbock.

–       Sarah Cortese-Fitzgerald, Lubbock.

–       Patrick Dudley, Elgin.

–       Lauren Echols Decker, Stamford.

–       Grant Groene, Lubbock.

–       Shane Halfmann, College Station.

–       Cody Harris, Palestine.

–       Lacee Hoelting, Lubbock.

–       Scott Irlbeck, Lubbock.

–       John Coleman Locke, Hungerford.

–       Josh Louder, Bedford.

–       Daniel Luehrs, Odem.

–       Alicia Meinzer, Weatherford.

–       Thomas Miller, Brashear.

–       Heath Reeves, Corpus Christi.

–       Jeff Sarchet, Decatur.

–       Kyle Watts, Tyler.

–       Remi Wright, Bryan.

TALL supporters providing $10,000 or more for  2017 were H-E-B, TALL Alumni Association, Texas Corn Producers Board and Capital Farm Credit.

Scholarships of more than $5,000 were provided by Bayer CropScience, Ag Workers Mutual Auto Insurance Co., Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Landmark Nurseries Inc., Jim and Paula Prewitt, Texas Cattle Feeders Association and Texas Wheat Producers Association.

For more information about the TALL program, visit



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