Texas Section Society for Range Management Recognizes local NRCS employee

Gary Fuentes with producer
Gary Fuentes with producer

Texas Section Society for Range Management (TSSRM) recognized ranchers, range managers and other conservation professionals at their annual meeting held virtually on Monday, Dec. 1st.

Gary Fuentes, district conservationist in Van Horn, was the “Grass Roots” award recipient for his excellence in on-the-ground, local, grassroots work in range management.

Gary Fuentes has spent most of his 37 years with NRCS in the Trans Pecos region of Texas. As the District Conservationist in Van horn, Gary provides valuable conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers in Culberson and Hudspeth Counties. Many years of local experience has given Gary the knowledge and skills needed to assist landowners with sound grazing and ranch management plans in this unique region.

He often works in extreme weather conditions and has guided farmers and ranchers through tough times, including severe and prolonged droughts, to sustain their operations. He has designed large-scale livestock watering systems and mechanical land treatments that are unique to the area. Gary has developed easements to protect natural resources from the expanding oil industry and written grazing plans to maintain productive ranching operations across generations. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Gary is a valued communicator who can explain complex and technical terms and plans to cooperators in both languages. This skill allows him to effectively interact with a wide base of cooperators in his region to get important conservation measures implemented.

Gary has coached local youth land and grass judging and taught students of the importance of soil health for many years. He is a respected member of the local community and has managed the Trans Pecos Big Buck Tournament in Van Horn for 10 years. Gary is proud to have served as a mentor for many NRCS employees in West Texas and is dedicated his career conservation. He continues to provide service to the farmers and ranchers in his resource area with no plans of slowing down anytime soon.


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