Writer: Kay Ledbetter
The Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence – Administration honor was presented to Dr. Larry Redmon at a ceremony Jan. 7 on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.
The Vice Chancellor’s Awards, established in 1980, recognize the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife, and represent the highest level of achievement for the organization.
Redmon has provided leadership as the associate department head and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program leader for the department of soil and crop sciences since Nov. 1, 2015. He currently supervises 28 AgriLife Extension specialists and program specialists and three support staff positions, along with administering a state budget in excess of $1.2 million.
Additionally, Redmon served as the interim associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for the department of wildlife and fisheries sciences. In that role he supervised additional specialists and was the co-coordinator of the Texas Master Naturalists program, overseeing an annual budget of $438,000.
Redmon’s role as associate head in two departments was unique within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and demonstrates the confidence upper administration has in his administrative capabilities, according to his nomination.
“Dr. Redmon has provided a strategic road map in the shaping of the SCS department,” said Dr. David Baltensperger, department head. “He has developed a vision for the department as a whole through retreats, industry/commodity contacts, and discussions with faculty and clientele.
“He is driven to integrate all functions of the department — teaching, research and extension — to make them complementary and synergistic. He also interacts routinely with all faculty regardless of their appointment.”
One of his duties since becoming the AgriLife Extension program leader has been to work with the department head and AgriLife Extension administration to hire new faculty. He has been responsible for hiring one-third of the agency’s current department faculty, and he plays an important role in helping mentor young faculty department-wide.
Redmon has also increased the diversity of the department by increasing the number of female faculty by 50 percent and doubling the number of foreign-born faculty.
“Not only does Dr. Redmon lead the hiring process but establishes a strong mentoring program for each to assure their success,” Baltensperger said. “Dr. Redmon also provides leadership in departmental issues. He frequently collaborates with the Borlaug Institute and others to arrange visits and seminars for potential foreign collaborators, visiting commodity group representatives and others.”
During 2018, Redmon hosted private and public sector visitors from Brazil, Bulgaria, Hungary, Venezuela and Poland.
He chairs the departmental Foundation Endowed Funding and the Soil, Water and Forage Testing committees, and serves on the department head’s Faculty Advisory Committee and the state Small Grains Advisory Board.
“Dr. Redmon also has a close relationship with Texas commodity groups that helps keep him informed of statewide and federal issues associated with crop production,” Baltensperger said.
Redmon also has generated endowed funding opportunities, securing the first-ever agriculture and natural resources AgriLife Extension endowment, the nomination stated. This endowment provides for land stewardship programming in the Edwards Plateau in perpetuity, and more recently he has been successful in obtaining yet another endowed gift.
He works very closely with the Texas A&M Foundation staff to identify and secure gifts when and where possible to achieve their strategic goals.
In addition to his administrative duties, Redmon continues to teach a class of 50-60 students, both undergraduate and graduate, each spring and his course evaluations exceed the departmental average.
Redmon is currently on four graduate student committees and has helped train a total of 37 graduate students.
He continues to serve as the AgriLife Extension state forage specialist, where he participates in educational programs across the state; and he serves as AgriLife Extension’s first endowed specialist responsible for oversight of the Bennett Trust Endowment and associated land stewardship programs in the Edwards Plateau.
Redmon also oversees the EPA-funded statewide Lone Star Healthy Streams water quality program and conducts the award-winning five-day Ranch Management University twice annually in College Station.