Dr. Edward Uvacek, Jr. was born in Newark, NJ, and grew up on a horse ranch in upstate New York. He attended Seton Hall Preparatory School in South Orange NJ from 1948-1951. To raise money for college, he worked at a horse-riding camp, teaching young children how to ride. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture in 1952, and his M.S. in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science in 1956, both from Rutgers University in NJ. In the midst of earning these degrees, Dr. Uvacek was also in the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed under Military Air Transport Service and was stationed in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Okinawa. After receiving his M.S., he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Livestock and Meat Research Economist. He alternated working in Washington D.C. and California, surveying meat retailers and slaughterers.
In 1961, Dr. Uvacek came to Texas A&M University and worked as an Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist while earning his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. He then continued his extension appointment and also began teaching graduate-level Livestock and Meat Marketing classes. While working for the Extension Service, he published a weekly column for the State of Texas Livestock Market News Report, a weekly TAMU Market Newsletter, a monthly column in BEEF Magazine and the Cattleman Magazine, as well as produced two TV and Radio tapes each month.
Dr. Uvacek served as a consultant to USAID in Panama in 1961 and in Korea in 1962. He worked with cattlemen, feedlots, meat packers, retailers, industry organizations, trade groups, national livestock and meat boards, and the Texas and Southwest Cattlemen’s Association.
Throughout his career, Dr. Uvacek has been recognized as a leader of exemplary status in the world of Extension. His awards include two “Premiere Livestock Forecaster” and “Professional Excellence” awards from the American Agricultural Economics Association, an “Appreciation Award” from the American Farm Bureau Federation, a “Superior Service” award from the USDA, and a “Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award” from the Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University. He has been recognized as “Extension Specialist of the Year” and “Official Commendation for Superior Service” from Texas A&M University. He has also been awarded a Lifetime Honorary Director position with the Texas Livestock Marketing Association and an Award Trustee for the Livestock Industry Institute. He has been presented an award by the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas in “Recognition of Faithful and Meritorious Service to the People of Texas.”
Dr. Uvacek has also been a very active member of the community. He served on the College Station Citizens Advisory Committee for budgetary appropriations. He was named a “Jack Wiech Fellow” for dedicated service to the Children of the Texas Lions Camp. For many years, he volunteered at every A&M football game in the concession stands and sold Christmas Trees at the Lions Club lot every holiday season. He was so dedicated to the College Station Noon Lions Club that he donated his personally-owned 1958 Rolls Royce for a raffle in which the proceeds helped fund the College Station Central Park “Fun for All Playground,” which was designed with handicapped needs in mind. He was awarded the “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, IL. He also volunteered with the Bluebonnet Girl Scout Council, A&M Consolidated Middle School, A&M Consolidated Band Boosters, the American Red Cross Monthly Blood Drives, Texas A&M OPAS, the South Knoll Parent Teachers Association, and the Friends Association of Symphony Orchestras. He was also a graduate of Leadership Brazos, a very competitive program designed to promote and foster the development of community leaders.
Dr. Uvacek and his wife, Bea, met at the USDA building in D.C. They continue to be involved in the Bryan-College Station community and Texas A&M University. They have three children: Debi, Cynthia, and Edward.