Dr. Edward G. Smith earned his B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in 1973 and graduated with his M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics in 1975. He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics in 1982.
Ed began his AgriLife Extension career as an assistant county agent in 1975. He served as the county extension agent in Gaines and Terry counties prior to starting his doctorate degree studies in 1980. Beginning in 1982, he held the Texas Extension Grain Marketing and Policy Specialist position until 1988, when he was named the Distinguished Roy B. Davis Professor in Agriculture Cooperation. In 2001, Dr. Smith became the Associate Director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and served as the Director of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service from 2005 until 2012.
Dr. Smith dedicated his professional career in service to both agriculture and the Texas and national land-grant university systems. As an economist and extension educator, he earned a reputation for his ability to understand the problems affecting farmers and to articulate the underlying issues to federal policy makers. Along with these insights, Dr. Smith provided visionary options and analysis of consequences to aid the decision-making of all concerned. His professional record of accomplishments in regards to publications, presentations, and grant support is exemplary.
During his time as an administrator and agency director, Dr. Smith improved AgriLife Extension’s accountability and program planning by refocusing on strategic goals and measurable objectives, with an emphasis on making economic impacts. He also streamlined the number of associate director positions, releasing resources that he redirected to program support, thus strengthening the agency as a model of administrative efficiency in state government.
As a grain marketing and cooperatives extension specialist during the early part of his career, Dr. Smith developed a regional and national reputation for his applied research and extension education programs on farm policy, risk management, and strategic planning. His reputation as a farm policy analyst who understood the farm program details and how they affected real farms led to him frequently being called on by Washington policy makers. He coauthored more than 150 Texas Agricultural and Food Policy Center publications on a wide variety of farm policy issues of interest to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. In his role as the Roy B. Davis Cooperative Chair, Dr. Smith developed a national reputation for helping cooperatives and other agribusinesses with strategic management decisions.
Ed and his wife Elaine live in Bryan, TX. Their family includes son, Edward ‘97 and his wife Marcy and children, Lilly and Logan, and son Jonathon ’06 and his wife Amber and children, Sam and Sunny.
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Transcript – Edward Smith Interview