Billy “Britt” Jarvis grew up as a part of a farming and ranching family in the northern part of the Texas panhandle. While growing up, Britt and his brother Jon, doctored cattle, built fence, operated farm equipment, and drove cattle trucks. Jarvis started at Texas A&M University in the fall of 1961, having just completed the planting of 4,500 acres his father had leased earlier that year. He was only beginning the journey to find what his contribution to that heritage would be. Instilled with a passion for service, policy, and agriculture, he maintained academic honors for seven of his eight semesters, while concurrently serving as an officer in the Agricultural Economics Society, the American Farm Economics Association, and a member of the Corps of Cadets. Graduating from Texas A&M with his B.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1965, Jarvis entered SMU Law School. As a student at SMU, he worked as an assistant drafting guides for lawyers that would be published by McDonald’s. As he continued his studies, he wrote an article “Generation, Skipping, Past, Present, and Future” which was later published in the Southwestern Law Journal after revision. This article helped him form the understanding of the importance of estate planning for the farming families and communities he would eventually serve.
In 1969, Britt entered active duty in the United States Army. He arrived in Vietnam in 1970, responsible for Officer Assignments and Requisitions. In less than two months, he took over as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, utilizing his law degree as trial and claims counsel. His tour of duty in Vietnam lasted one year, with him subsequently receiving a Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Achievement. In October of 1971, he opened his law practice in Spearman, TX, where he continues to work today.
Practicing law and operating various agricultural enterprises have been Jarvis’ primary professions for the last forty years. Jarvis has used his knowledge of the law to grow his family’s and his clients’ businesses. The sense of duty Jarvis has held since childhood prompted him to maintain involvement in various community service operations. His heart of serving others and dedication to community service stem from his faith and are evidently seen in his involvement in the local and worldwide community. Jarvis has been a 30-year member of the Spearman Lions Club, an organization composed of volunteers dedicated to encouraging children to engage to serve the community, good ethics, and a spirit of compassion to the peoples of the world. Having received rank of Eagle Scout as a boy, he later became Scout Master for Troop 551, Boy Scouts of America, from 2006-2014. Currently, he is serving on the Committee that oversees Troop 551 and still volunteers his time to the Scout meetings. Jarvis believes in the importance of a strong and educated young generation and as a result, uses his time to teach the importance of life skills and knowledge he learned as a former scout, farmer, and rancher.
Jarvis attends Aggie Muster every year and has assisted with the organization of the event. He is a long-time supporter of the Hansford County 4-H Club, volunteering, along with his wife Linda, as leaders from 1976-91. They received the District Service award for their dedication to the program. His Aggie spirit and compassionate heart have served programs such as the Gus Birdwell Elementary “Read with a Buddy,” Meals-on-Wheels, Church of Christ Vacation Bible School, Rotary Club, and Shriners.
Britt and Linda are benefactors to local graduates for college annually, with many of these students having attended Texas A&M. Their belief in and encouragement to hard-working and determined graduates are shown through their giving of private scholarships. Even further, they have taken it upon themselves to charge these students to always remember that good ethics and a hard-working mind lead to a successful life. Jarvis and his family continue to support the university through membership in the Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation, and, in person, as season ticket holders for Aggie Football.
Britt and his wife Linda have three children, all of whom graduated from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University: William Britt Jarvis ’89, Anne Marie Jarvis Pearson ’90, and Bonnie Lea Jarvis Woolam ’94. Their eldest granddaughter, Jessica Lynn Jarvis, also graduated from A&M in 2011.
Click Below for Video Interview: