Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Agriculture and Natural Resources unit of the Cooperative Extension Program is the primary educational outreach unit of the university that disseminates research based knowledge to agricultural producers. County and specialist staffs assist small scale farmers and ranchers to become self sustaining and profitable.


Over the years, we’ve helped small scale ranchers and farmers manage their agricultural operations to ensure that they are profitable and also environmentally friendly. Cooperative Extension agents help livestock producers manage cattle, goats, sheep and horses and also assist small farm producers with growing and producing cool season and warm season forages. Participants learn gardening techniques, vegetable and fruit tree variety selection, soil management, pest control, fruit tree pruning and fertilization.

The Agriculture and Natural Resources staff conduct educational programs that address water quality, water quantity, nutrient management, animal waste management and pesticide usage. Our Extension agents design programs for clients to help them limit the contamination of their water wells, farm ponds, streams and other waterways. We are also involved in providing training to producers to help them obtain and maintain their pesticide applicator license.

Cooperative Extension agents and program specialists assist agricultural producers in increasing farm profitability using better management techniques. In our loan application workshops, clients develop computer skills, learn how to maintain farm records and strengthen their marketing skills. FARM IT (Financial Analysis, Risk Management and Information Technology) is one of the successful programs that help small-scale minority producers improve and expand their operations and overcome barriers including language and education. Extension agents in Hidalgo County have used another program, Farm ASSIST, to help local farmers obtain Farm Service Agency loans.



Billy Lawton, M.Ed. – Program Leader for Agriculture and Natural Resources
Nelson Daniels Ph.D. – Program Specialist
Kellye Thompson, DVM – Program Specialist

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