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CASNR Distinguished & Young Alumni Awards honor seven standout alums

CASNR Distinguished & Young Alumni Awards honor seven standout alums

Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources honored six distinguished alumni on Monday (Feb. 10) at the university’s McKenzie Merket Alumni Center. The Distinguished & Young Alumni Awards honor alumni who’ve made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments and careers have brought distinction to the college and to the professions associated with agriculture and natural resources.

In addition, university officials recognized the CASNR Young Alumni Award, said Jane Piercy, CASNR’s Director of Development and External Relations. The recipient of the 2014 Young Alumnus Award is Drew DeBerry, the Texas Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture. He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural and applied economics from Tech in 2000.

The recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards are:

  • Jackie Smith of Lubbock, professor and extension economist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services. Agricultural Economics (1971)
  • Zachary Brady of Lubbock, founder of Brady & Hamilton, Attorneys and Counselors. Agricultural Communications (1995)
  • Hugo Irizarry of Fort Collins, Col., head of ground beef and trim operations for JBS-USA. Meat Science (MA 1985)
  • Pamela Hefner of Austin, project manager for Austin’s Economic Development Department. Landscape Architecture  (1983)
  • Kent Ferguson of Valley Mills, NRCS State Rangeland Management Specialist. Range Management (1977)
  • David Kirby of Dana Point, Ca., vice president of sales for Monrovia. Horticulture (1993)

Piercy noted that the measure of a college’s distinction and influence depends greatly upon the achievements of its alumni and the positions they attain in their respective communities and fields of endeavor. The awards were established to recognize some of the college’s most outstanding alumni.

The awards do more than honor former students, Piercy added. They spotlight accomplishments of the college, Texas Tech and, ultimately it enhances the pride of alumni, students, faculty and staff. It’s tangible evidence of the effectiveness of agricultural and natural resource programs at Texas Tech, she said.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Tracee Murph, Coordinator of Alumni Relations, Office of Development & Alumni Relations, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2802 or

0210NM14 / Editor’s Note: Pictured (clockwise from top, left) Jackie Smith, Zachary Brady, Pamela Hefner, David Kirby, Drew DeBerry, Kent Ferguson, and Hugo Irizarry


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