AAEC alumna named new executive director of Texas Shrimp Association
After a 20-year career in real estate, Texas Tech University alumna Andrea Hance had a change of heart. A 1992 graduate of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Hance and her husband started a shrimp business in 2008. Four years later, she recently was named executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association.
"My husband's family has been in the shrimping business for more than 30 years, so we decided to purchase our first fishing vessel in 2008," Hance said. "Needless to say, everyone thought we were crazy as the gulf shrimping industry has been steadily declining since 2001."
The leap of faith now has Hance overseeing the Texas Wild-Caught shrimp industry. In her role, she works with the Texas Shrimp Association developing strategies to educate consumers, lawmakers, press, environmental groups and the public about the importance of protecting and growing wild-caught gulf shrimp.
"This position allows me a platform to educate consumers on the difference between wild-caught and imported farm-raised shrimp," Hance said. "Not specifically the taste of the shrimp, but the overall economic impact of the gulf shrimp industry and what affect it has on the Gulf Coast."
Since she and her husband entered the shrimp industry, they have been through many obstacles such as record-high fuel prices, a spike in imported shrimp, which dropped prices to a 40-year low, and an oil spill. However, Hance said shrimp prices currently are up approximately 30 to 40 percent and she is optimistic about the future.
Along with her success in the shrimp industry, Hance said her biggest accomplishment is finding balance in her life. Not only did she drastically change her career, but she also reached new heights in her field of work.
Written by Lauren Kozlovsky
CONTACT: Jane Piercy, Director of Development and External Relations, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806)742-2802 or email@example.com