Project Director: Dr. Jose Lopez (Assistant Professor of Agribusiness)
Dr. Lopez has extensive experience in conducting marketing as well as demand price analyses, including market research, product development and improvements, feasibility analyses, preparing business and marketing plans, and training adults. He will function as head coordinator for all events and will be a key factor in the program.
Co-Project Director: Dr. Jim Heitholt (Department Head)
Dr. Heitholt has more than a decade of experience working with producers and processors in Northeast Texas as a crop physiologist with Texas AgriLife Research. He is involved in breeding vegetable soybean lines and currently oversees a Pick-Your-Own operation at the A&M-Commerce Blueberry Farm.
Co- Project Director: Dr. Robert Williams (Associate Professor of Agricultural and Family Education)
Dr. Robert Williams has substantial background in the Northeast Texas region, being a native of Hopkins County and former dairy farm worker. He also serves as the Project Director for the “Breaking Barriers for Beginning Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers”, a USDA funded project that provides training to beginning farmers and ranchers. He will be a key contribution to the Northeast Texas Initiative for Cooperative Development.
Agronomy Specialist: Dr. Curtis Jones (Assistant Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences)
Dr. Jones is an Extension Specialist in Agronomy with Texas AgriLife. He has a great level of expertise in pasture management, forage production, and production techniques for various crops. As an Extension Specialist, Dr. Jones spends much time interacting with regional producers. He will be a key presenter for many of the events.
Texas Small Farmers and Ranchers Personnel
State Coordinator & Chair of the Executive Board of Directors: Mr. Wade Ross
Mr. Ross has more than 30 years as Vocational director and has membership in several agricultural associations and institutions. He has built strong relationships with regional NRCS offices, Farm Service Agencies, Rural Development Offices, as well as several regional and community organizations.
Northeast Regional Coordinator: Mr. Troy Mumphrey
Mr. Mumphrey, an East Texas State alumnus and retired USDA/NRCS Soil Conservationist, will help lead events in the Northeast Texas region. He has more than 20 years of experience in his field of soil conservation and is active in the Landowners Association of Texas. He will work closely with Dr. Lopez on the coordination of events.