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Dr. David Creech is Agriculture Educator of the Year
Posted 03 - 06 - 2008
Pictured above, Dr. David Creech with Texas blueberry information.

In East Texas, when people think of horticulture they think about Dr. David Creech.

Dr. Creech has been instrumental in many students’ lives during his tenure as Horticulture Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University. He has also brought SFA campus gardens to life that are recognized nationally.

The agriculture committee of Nacogdoches County will honor Dr. Creech as the East Texas and Agriculture Educator of the Year award recipient at the seventh annual Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet, Monday, March 31, at the Fredonia.

“Dr. Creech is a deserving candidate for the Ag Educator of the Year Award,” Chad Gulley, County Extension Agent—Ag/NR for Nacogdoches County, said. “The courses I have taken under Dr. Creech have been very influential and beneficial in my career as a County Extension Agent. He is a real asset to Nacogdoches County.”

Dr. Creech received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture from Texas A&M University in 1970, his Master of Science from Colorado State University in 1972, and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1978.

Many people may not know that Dr. Creech was the first Extension Horticulture Specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service headquartered at the Texas A&M Extension and Research Center in Overton, Texas.

Dr. Creech has been an SFA professor since September 1978. Until his retirement in late 2007, he was in a 100% teaching position with the university. He has taught various horticultural courses including Introductory Crop Science, Fruit and Vegetable Production, Greenhouse Management, Landscape Plant Materials I and II, Plant Propagation, Nursery Management, Public Garden Management, and Computer-Assisted Design I & II. He also serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Horticulture Club. Dr. Creech conducts regular horticulture lecture series at the University as well as speaks at various horticulture programs around the country.

Since 1973, Dr. Creech has been working on blueberry research. Dr. Creech has conducted research projects focused on blueberry germplasm evaluation as a part of the USDA Southern Region Blueberry Germplasm Evaluation program. He has conducted research on the rabbiteye blueberry nutrition and culture, salinity tolerances in Bald Cypress, endangered plant conservation and reintroduction, and the CAD/GIS applications in urban horticulture. He has enjoyed numerous international consultancies since 1981 to Pakistan, Guatemala, Israel, Mexico, China and Nepal.

Crispin Skinner, County Extension Agent—Ag/NR for Nacogdoches County said, “Dr. Creech has always gone above and beyond the far reaches of the world to bring back educational materials for his students to be better prepared in the Horticultural Industry. As a result, students are well prepared for the professional field on a local, state, national and global level.”

Dr. Creech served as president of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) from 1991-1992. The NPSOT is a 1,900 member, 31 chapter organization dedicated to the conservation, selection, and use of native plants in Texas. He serves as the director of the Stephen F. Austin Mast Arboretum, the Pineywoods Native Plant Center and the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. These three gardens are a living laboratory for students in forestry, biology, and horticulture like as well as the public. He currently serves on the Education Committee for Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA). He is also currently serving as president of the Texas Association of Botanical Garden and Arboreta (TABGA). He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS).

He has received various awards and honors as Horticulture Professor at SFA. During his tenure as professor, he was awarded Regent’s Professor for Research. Other awards and honors are ASHS Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Nursery and Floriculture Working Group, Native Plant Society of Texas Lynn Lowrey Memorial Native Plant Conservation Award, L.M. Ware Teaching Award of the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), and SFA Foundation’s Faculty Achievement Award.

In addition to all of his hard work and accomplishments, Dr. Creech has worked extensively to prepare students for the Southern Region competitions. These teams consistently perform at the highest standards. The 2008 teams won 1st place overall team, the 1st and 3rd place woody ornamental awards, and 2nd and 3rd place greenhouse floral and foliage team awards.

The banquet begins with social hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Dr. Archie P. McDonald will present “East Texas Gothic: History of Nacogdoches County Agriculture.”

Tickets for the Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet are $20 each and may be purchased by contacting the Chamber at 936-560-5533. Limited exhibit space is available at no cost. Contact Karen Tucker, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, at 560-7711 before March 25 for reserving exhibit space.

The agriculture banquet is a cooperative effort of local agencies that include Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Forest Service, SFA Agriculture Department, NEDCO and Nacogdoches County Chamber.
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