On January 8th, nine Texas Sea Grant College Program outreach professionals were presented with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s 2012 Superior Service Award in the team category. The team was given the Superior Service Award in honor of their work with the shrimp fishing industry to implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAAF) program.
The annual Superior Service Awards recognize AgriLife Extension faculty and staff members who provide outstanding performance in Extension education or in service to the organization. The 2012 award-winning team is comprised of Seafood Specialist Michael G. Haby, Marine Fisheries Specialist Gary Graham, Environmental Quality Specialist Dr. Russ Miget, County Coastal and Marine Resource (CCMR) Agent Terrie Looney (Chambers/Jefferson counties), CCMR Agent Julie K. Massey (Galveston County), CCMR Agent John P. O’Connell (Brazoria County), CCMR Agent Rhonda D. Cummins (Calhoun County), and CCMR Agent Tony Reisinger (Cameron Country), and Aransas County Extension Agent Ginger Easton Smith.
The Team’s work resulted in Texas shrimp fishermen earning $9 million in TAAF cash benefits and access to training programs designed to enhance the competitiveness of these small and medium-sized enterprises.
Moreover, the work of Texas A&M University and Texas Sea Grant professionals, particularly Michael G. Haby and Lawrence L. Falconer, made possible TAAF benefits for the entire shrimp industry. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the shrimp industry was the single largest participant in the TAAF program administered by the USDA. Looking across all trade-affected agriculture and seafood industries participating in TAAF, the GAO reported that:
- 4,452 of the 7,781 TAAF participants (57%) that completed initial business plans were from the shrimp industry;
- 3,445 of the 5,073 TAAF participants (68%) that completed long-term business plans were from the shrimp industry; and
- of the $49.7 million in financial benefits distributed through TAAF, $37.4 million (75%) went to members of the shrimp industry.
On behalf of the entire shrimp industry, the Southern Shrimp Alliance thanks everyone who made valuable technical and financial assistance through TAAF available to the industry. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s 2012 Superior Service Award is well deserved. Congratulations to everyone on the award-winning team.
Read the complete Media Advisory from Texas Sea Grant announcing the award here: http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu/NewsAndEvents/MediaReleases/press13/2012SuperiorServiceAward.html
Review more about the shrimp industry’s participation in the TAAF program here: https://shrimpalliance.com/?p=2110