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Giving Back: Juan M. Garcia, CARET Delegate

In *All, Agricultural Systems by AgIsAmerica

This National Volunteer Month, we celebrate those who serve on behalf of the land-grant university mission. Juan M. Garcia retired after a long career with the USDA and continues to give back to Texas agriculture by volunteering with the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET). Learn more about his service in this Q&A:

headshot of Juan M. GarciaWhy do you volunteer for CARET? What does it mean to you?

I was raised on a family farm in South Texas. I obtained a BS degree in Agriculture and my first job was with Prairie View A&M Extension Service working with underserved farmers. I retired after 40 years of service with USDA and during my career I was focused in assisting the underserved farmers and ranchers in Texas and throughout the nation while serving as the Administrator for the Farm Service Agency.

I volunteer because I want to do what I can to provide the rural communities in Texas with the services that PVA&M Extension Service provides. I am particularly interested in the Hispanic communities of South Texas. I want to be an advocate with our elected officials to educate them in the outstanding contributions extension provides so that they may be cognizant in allocating funding for the Agricultural Extension and Research.

How does funding for research, education and Extension help your community?

Prairie View A&M focuses in providing services in 4-H Youth Development, Community and Economic Development, Agriculture, and Family and Community Health. All these program areas are so important to many in the communities served. In Texas, over $17 M in funding for projects have been achieved as well as the contacts with farmers and ranchers educating in agricultural practices and programs for sustainable farming operations. The education that Extension provides in proper nutrition is so important to the overall health of families in the rural communities.

What do you hope for the future of CARET?

I would hope that the CARET organization throughout the nation and territories continue the outstanding work in education of elected and civic leaders to continue the support of funding for the continuation of research and extension as the population growth continues. It is important for Extension to have willing and able CARET delegates and representatives to continue this work.

The Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET) is a national grassroots organization of citizen advocates. CARET is dedicated to improving national support and understanding of the important role played by land-grant colleges in the food and agricultural systems, as well as the profound consequences of that role for the U.S. food supply and the nation. Learn more about CARET here.

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