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Meet Edward Romero, Founder of AgForLife, LLC

Posted by Edward Romero on May 24th, 2010

Since our inaugural blog last week as well as the launch of the AgForLife website, I received several emails inquiring more about the company and those behind the scenes so I figured it would be something I could write about in this week’s blog to help you learn a little more about me, my background and AgForLife, LLC. Below are several questions that were asked and in turn, may give you more insight as to who we are and why we do, what we do.

How did you get your start?

As a boy growing up in agriculture all my young life, I was exposed to many things related to production agriculture. My father raised cattle (and still does), quarter horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and just about any other form of livestock you can imagine. As a young boy living in rural New Mexico, sometimes living so far from town with so many chores waiting for me when I got home from school, I can honestly say it was a tough life. Not because I had to chop wood when I arrived home from my 45-mile jaunt from school nor the time it took for me to fill the kerosene lamps so that I could do my homework after chores via a flickering lamp because we were so isolated, but because it was hard work.

Our family lived on the leased ranch until I was about 15 years old. Later we then moved to a small farming community in Eastern New Mexico. There, I was able to enjoy the amenities just like every other teenager in high school and enjoyed playing sports and becoming involved in 4-H and FFA.  Just being exposed to 4-H and FFA allowed me to experience many of the fun things students experience in these organizations today. Those two organizations had a strong influence on what I would study later in college.

Being the first from my family to graduate from college, I was unsure what I was going to study when I went off to college. Not really knowing any better, I stayed with what I knew. I started in agriculture at the junior college I attended in the Texas Panhandle with the intentions of switching majors later – when I found something better – I thought.  Three degrees later, they are all in agriculture!  My undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Economics/Agricultural Business with a minor in finance. My Master of Arts is in Agricultural and Extension Education, both from New Mexico State University. My PhD is from Texas A&M University focusing on agricultural literacy and outreach.

Immediately after the completion of my Master’s degree, I was a recruiter for the College of Agriculture at New Mexico State University for three years. I worked hard at recruiting more students into agriculture.  Later, I started an insurance agency with Farm Bureau Insurance, where I provided financial and insurance products to farmers and ranchers for six years in the Northeastern part of New Mexico, in the little town of Las Vegas, NM. Yes, there is another Las Vegas, but not the gambling kind. Population is 15,000 and dominated by ranch land and agriculture.

As a small business owner in Las Vegas, NM I started volunteering at the local high school and helping the local FFA chapter and decided I wanted to work again in higher education. I was fortunate to find employment in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University in 2000. There, I held several positions but my focus was always around helping students succeed in agriculture.  My academic roles varied, but primarily were in administration, minority student recruiting, retention, student development, academic advising, and extra-curricular advising. Today, I work in Human Resources, which provides services for several agricultural related agencies for the Texas A&M University System by day, and by night and weekends, work at creating a fledgling start-up called AgForLife, LLC that I started in 2009. We launched the website on May 17, 2010.

It’s a company based on the AgForLife framework and concept. You can find out more information “about us” here.  In short, I am trying to bring awareness to the lack of student enrollment in agriculture. Of the more than 16 million undergraduate students in college in 2008, only 251,000 students were studying some form of agriculture. That translates to approximately 1.5% of the total undergraduate college population studying agriculture. In my opinion, that number is excessively low. Those numbers will never allow us to establish a substantial pool of applicants to fill the many agricultural positions available today, nor in the future. We must act now.

Most of my research and experience has been dealing in this area and studying the affects for more than 10 years. Historically, the negative issues the agriculture industry has been dealing with is over 20+ years. This issue was around when I was graduating from high school.  A more effective effort must be garnered in order to better fulfill today and tomorrow’s agricultural employment demand.  Our company was solely created to help address this problem through a number of ways. Our company’s vision is to change the perceptions of agriculture through education, technology, and innovation. I am optimistic we can make progress but it will take a collective effort. I would be happy to elaborate further if you are interested in knowing more. Just shoot me an email or connect with me on several social media outlets. You can also follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook Page.

Why do you love being a part of the agriculture community?

I love agriculture and I love education. I combined the two to form AgForLife, LLC.  I have always been involved with agriculture all of my life and I was the first from my family to graduate from college, so education is important to me for many reasons.  My professional work has not all been on the agricultural production side, but as we all know, less than 2% of our employment in agriculture is on the production side. With AgForLife, I would like to highlight more of the non-production areas affiliated with agriculture because I think opportunities outside of agriculture, but directly influenced by agriculture often times slips through the cracks and are stories never told. In short, agriculture has to deal with negative consequences by people who do not understand it. I believe it is our job, collectively, to help educate people about the many career opportunities available in agriculture from the farm to fork, and all in-between. There are so many opportunities for us to share our story.  Especially, to first-generation college students who are not familiar with the many possibilities available to them, which we could mentor into our industry.  I believe agricultural awareness and agricultural literacy are important to helping people become better consumer and advocates of agriculture as well.

What are you and your family doing now in agriculture?

My roots are still in agriculture, as I live on a small 12 acres ranchette about 15 miles from the city of Bryan/College Station, TX. I have several horses, one lonely heifer (long story), cats and a dog.  Just this week, I am acquiring my first tractor.  I am excited, because now I can mow my own pastures, disc my riding area where I ride my horses, drill postholes for some new cross fencing I want to install (not looking forward to building fence), and so many other uses. Today, I may not live on a large ranch like the one I grew up on, but I will always yearn to live the rural lifestyle and agriculture will always be a part of my life, whether I am helping dad brand or helping young people find their calling in agriculture.

If you believe we are in need of improving the number of students enrolling in agricultural majors, support our cause, or believe in our mission, please feel free to share this blog, our website or send people to become members of our Facebook Page. Maybe we will even cross paths via tweets on Twitter. Nonetheless, if you have more questions, need more information, or would like to share your thoughts, please drop us a note. We’d love to hear from  you.

Until next week,

Adios!

PS: I almost forgot to mention. In the coming weeks you will also be hearing from our friend Eric Brenner, originally from Costa Rica and now a graduate student at Texas A&M University. He is also involved with AgForLife and will also be blogging about his experiences on this site as well.  For more information about Eric, go here to learn more about him.

9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Meet Edward Romero, Founder of AgForLife, LLC”


  1. Mark Vice

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