Rod Santa Ana is a veteran journalist, having started his career in radio in 1976, moved to television news in 1980 and in 1988 became a member of the Texas A&M AgriLife Communications team. He and his wife, Norma, live in McAllen, Texas.

Tree care courses set for October in Robstown

ROBSTOWN — To help homeowners and professionals properly care for trees, especially those in distress from the recent drought years, two state agencies will hold several classes in October in Robstown. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M Forest Service will host certified arborist preparation courses from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. every Friday […]

Coffee farm thriving in the Rio Grande Valley

WESLACO  —  A South Texas scientist is amazed that coffee plants from all over the world are growing so well in the subtropical conditions of the Rio Grande Valley. Just over a year ago, Dr. Juan Anciso, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service fruit and vegetable specialist, planted 200 plants representing 40 coffee varieties from […]

Child Passenger Safety Week ends with free car seats, expert advice

WESLACO —  Children don’t do well in car accidents, and according to statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children. As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 18-23, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering parents help in keeping their […]

Results show water well testing in Texas is important

ALICE  —  Results of recent private water well screenings in five South Texas counties underscored the importance of regular testing of private water wells, said a Texas Well Owner Network official. “Through these screenings, we identified several contaminants that could potentially cause illnesses or other problems for the private well owners,” said John Smith, Texas […]

Workshop to help Valley small-acreage growers sell locally

WESLACO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has planned a workshop with experts to help small-scale producers of fruits and vegetables in South Texas sell their produce to local restaurants and grocery stores. The free workshop, “MarketReady Training: Selling to Restaurants for Local Growers,” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 22 […]

Soil and Irrigation Conservation Workshop slated Aug. 24 in Weslaco

WESLACO – Agricultural producers throughout the Rio Grande Valley are invited to spend half a day with experts on new technologies in soil and water management, funding opportunities and financial technical support for farming operations, organizers said. The Soil Health and Irrigation Conservation Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 […]

Texas Crop and Weather Report — Aug. 17

WESLACO – An offshoot of the changing weather system that produced severe and unprecedented flooding in Louisiana should persist throughout most of Texas, helping to check or even eliminate drought conditions that had been developing this summer, according to a weather expert. While the system shouldn’t impede the summer harvest of cotton and grain statewide, […]

Valley’s Master Gardener classes moving to cooler times

SAN BENITO – This year’s Master Gardener classes in Hidalgo and Cameron counties will move to the fall to avoid the area’s blistering heat, organizers said. “This is the first time Master Gardener classes will be held later in the year so we can take advantage of the cooler temperatures that provide our best growing […]

Toolbox being created for South Texas vegetable producers

WESLACO – It’s an imaginary toolbox, but Dr. Ismael E. Badillo-Vargas wants to create one for South Texas growers to help them revive what was once a thriving vegetable industry in the Rio Grande Valley. It would contain both short- and long-term strategies to once again harvest vast fields of produce in Texas for local, […]