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Tech honors three men as Outstanding Agriculturalists

image image Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources honored three men Nov. 8 as Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturalists. The recognition took place during the college’s 80th annual Pig Roast at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

The annual awards recognize individuals for contributions to various areas of Texas agriculture. Awards Thursday went to Kenneth Bell for agribusiness, Mark Williams for agricultural production and William Bennett for public service.

Kenneth Bell. (top) Bell, a New Braunfels resident, is a 1971 Tech graduate and received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics with a business emphasis. After receiving his degree, Bell became an appraiser for the General Land Office of Texas and worked as a commodities broker for Ross Perot’s Dupont-Walston in Dallas and an officer in Frost National Bank of San Antonio.

 In 1981, Bell purchased Quick Line Service Company and continues as owner and president of that company today. He is a committeeman on the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Wildlife Committee, director for the Texas Wildlife Association, director for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, and is a director of the Board of Trustees for the 4-H Foundation of the State of Texas.

Mark Williams. (middle) Williams of Farwell received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Tech in 1974. An experienced and successful producer, he holds board positions with Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, Farmer’s Cooperative Compress, and the Cotton Board.

Williams is also an advisor to Cotton Council International’s Executive Committee. He has served as past president of several organizations, including Parmer County Farm Bureau, Plains Cotton Growers and Southwest Council of Agribusiness.

William Bennett.  Bennett of Lubbock received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University. His master’s and doctorate degrees are from Iowa State University. Following graduation Bennett served as an Extension Soil Chemist with Texas A&M University, and later at Western Ammonia Corporation in Dimmitt. He joined Texas Tech’s faculty in 1968.

Bennett taught in Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science during his tenure. In 1970, he became an Assistant Dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources focusing on academic and student programs. In 1984, he was named the director of development. He retired in 1997.

Bennett was responsible for the initiation of two student groups in 1974, the Ambassadors for Agriculture and the Agri-Techsans. Both are still active today.

The Outstanding Agriculturalist awards, established in 1969, are named for Gerald W. Thomas, who served as dean of Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences from 1958 to 1970. The Pig Roast honors the college’s scholarship donors and recipients, as well as intercollegiate judging teams.

Written by Norman Martin


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