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Elyce Rodewald named Ag Educator of the Year
Posted 03 - 13 - 2013

Elyse Rodewald, pictured above, is 2013 Ag Educator of the Year.

Nacogdoches Agribusiness Committee


For Immediate Release   - March 13, 2013                                      

Contact:    Kelly Daniel, Membership & Marketing Manager - ph: 936-560-5533

Elyce Rodewald named Ag Educator of the Year

NACOGDOCHES - Elyce Rodewald, conservation education director at the SFASU Gardens, has been named Ag Educator of the Year by the Nacogdoches County Agribusiness Committee. She will be honored at the 13th Annual Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet on Apr. 8 at the Hotel Fredonia Convention Center.

Rodewald, who is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Zoology, has been in her position for nearly 12 years. During that time, she has built the conservation program into something truly remarkable. 

“The numbers alone are amazing. Every year, her program touches an average of sixteen thousand individuals, most of which are children,” said District Forester John Boyette, Texas Forest Service. “Her programs are too numerous to list, but a couple of examples should be described. ‘Nacogdoches Naturally’ is a family oriented program designed to encourage parents to take their kids outdoors to explore nature. Weekend activities include fishing, camping, archery, and lots of other fun skills that some parents may need some help. That program is now in its fifth year, and has helped hundreds of families in our community to get outside and enjoy nature.

According to Boyette, the program “Bugs, Bees, Butterflies, and Blossoms” is a collaborative effort between Rodewald and several other organizations that takes place in the SFA Mast Arboretum. This week-long event combines an intensive training opportunity for nearly 100 SFA pre-service teachers with a unique outdoor learning event for about 3,500 area students, kindergarten through third grade.

Rodewald is married to Mike Bates, a high school teacher in Chireno They have two children, Seth and Emily who Elyce home-schooled from beginning until they enrolled at SFA, from which they have both graduated.

“Elyce is very humble and quick to point out that she could not accomplish nearly as much as she has without her wonderful and extensive team of volunteers,” Boyette said. “But then, of course, she did recruit them.


About the Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet

The 13th annual Nacogdoches County Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet is Monday, Apr. 8 at the Hotel Fredonia Convention Center. Exhibits will be ready to view at 6 p.m., dinner service begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

Keynote speaker is Bob Phillips, Host of Texas Country Reporter. Speaker sponsor is Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau

Four awards will be presented:

           The Bubba Stokes Family is Farm Family of the Year; award sponsored by Tipton Ford, Inc.

           Roy Mills is the Pete Smith Agricultural Pioneer; award sponsored by Heritage Land Bank.

           Nacogdoches Farm Bureau will receive the Agribusiness of the Year Award; award sponsored by First Bank & Trust East Texas.

            SFASU’s Elyce Rodewald will receive the Agriculture Educator of the Year award; award is sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank.

Banquet tickets are $27 each or $275 per table of eight and are available now at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 2516 North St., or call 936-560-5533, or go to

A limited number of free exhibitor spaces are available to Nacogdoches County agriculture-based industry and organizations. For more exhibitor information, call Debbie Sanford at Texas Agrilife Extension Service, 560-7711. Deadline to reserve exhibit space is Apr. 5.

The Nacogdoches Agribusiness committee consists of representatives from Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp., Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Cooperative Extension Program, Pineywoods RC&D, Stephen F. Austin State University - Agriculture Department and the Texas Forest Service.

The group has organized farm tours of the county for media and business representatives on Friday, Apr. 5. Contact Jamie Sugg at 560-7711 for tour information.



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