LUBBOCK – Andy Holloway, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agriculture and natural resources agent in Hemphill County, received the Grass Roots Award – Extension Agent given by the Texas Section Society for Range Management.
The award was presented at the society’s recent annual meeting at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock.
Holloway has reignited interest regarding improved rangeland-based beef production in his and surrounding counties through active agriculture outreach and education, said Dr. Tim Steffens, AgriLife Extension range specialist in Canyon, in his nomination.
“Since coming on board in late summer 2013, Andy has used his experience and industry relationships as a range beef cattle producer, seedstock marketer and promoter to develop programming that provides both breadth and depth of knowledge to the ranchers in his and surrounding counties,” Steffen said. “He has shown that producers are hungry for education that will help them gain in-depth information and formulate strategies that can be managed adaptively to meet their lifestyle, livelihood and landscape goals.”
Some of the highlights of Holloway’s programming include the Mini-ag Conference, which started in 2015 to bring cutting-edge knowledge to bear on ranching issues including rangeland, genetics, marketing, climate and nutrition. Attendance at these conferences has averaged almost 60 people from six to eight counties in the area each year.
Holloway’s annual beef conference brings in nationally recognized leaders, along with local and AgriLife Extension/university experts to provide a comprehensive program. These have attracted crowds that have grown from 86 in 2015 to 311 attendees from 11 states and 36 counties in Texas in 2017.
He also helped promote an in-depth grazing and ranch management school for producers that attracted 29 participants the first year. This school uses a systems approach to provide detailed information on grazing livestock economics, rangeland ecology, livestock nutrition and reproduction, and grazing management. In 2017, an additional 22 new participants enrolled, with four repeating the school.
He has also been instrumental in helping with the beef conference “alumni association” created to help participants successfully implement the concepts and guidelines they learned in the schools..
Holloway also supports youth 4-H participation at the county, state and national level such as stock shows, judging teams and leadership. He helped one 4-H’er go to the Youth Range Workshop in Junction and on to the national meeting of the Society for Range Management in Reno in 2018, where the individual was elected president of the Youth Range Forum.
The nomination also highlighted Holloway’s efforts to provide support and organized relief to help ranchers recover after the wildfires in the spring of 2017.
“His outgoing personality and natural talent for promotion has helped make the Grazing Management schools I work with him on a phenomenal success, and his generosity helping other agents has helped spread their popularity beyond the county borders,” Steffens said.