For new Texas A&M AgriLife County Extension Agent Luke Hendryx, returning to his hometown of Alpine after a stint training cutting horses in Brenham has been a blessing.
Hendryx’s grandfather, Gene, was a former state representative and Brewster County commissioner, and purchased the local radio station. A son of local educators, dad Houston was a football coach and principal for Alpine ISD schools, while mom Brenda Criddle taught for over 30 years.
Growing up in Alpine, Hendryx was active in the local FFA chapter, did horse judging at the Big Bend Livestock Show, and graduated from Alpine High School in 2006. He went on to attend Sul Ross State University, and earned a degree in animal science with a focus in animal production.
He met wife Emily in college, and they had two children, Brooklyn and Bristol. Emily recently joined the Texas Southwestern Cattle Women’s Association.
“I worked on several ranches in the area all through high school and college,” said Hendryx. “I was looking forward to this position, and I looked into it about a year ago, but due to COVID, they had a hiring freeze. As soon as I heard it was coming back open, I put in my application, and here I am.”
He hopes to keep area ranchers informed of programs and practices they can implement for successful, sustainable operations through conservation and management.
He also looks forward to working with area youngsters through 4-H clubs in Alpine, Fort Davis, and Valentine. Hendryx has big plans for the Big Bend Livestock Show.
“Growing up in Alpine, the stock show was a huge deal, and there were a lot of people involved. I want to really get that going,“ said Hendryx.
He will be partnering with former mentor and current high school ag teacher Doug Fox for horse judging, youth shooting sports, and vocational agricultural programs.
“They used to do a program called Kids, Cows, and More, and its been shut down because of COVID, but hopefully that will start back up,” said Hendryx. “Our corner of Texas differs from the rest of the state, and people out here are very proud of that.“
He noted that geographic and demographic differences required different approaches to education for such things as management and conservation.
“To effectively do so requires an in-depth knowledge of our area, and I have been fortunate enough to gain that insight from living and working here my entire life. I look forward to working with people in the area for years to come,” Hendryx said.
For more information, email Hendryx at email@example.com or visit him at the Sunny Glen-Brewster County Cooperative Building located at 2209 West U.S. Highway 90.