By Dennis Smith

At the end of the day on Wednesday, August 31, I will begin a new career.  I look forward to the many challenges it will present.
Beginning September 1, I will be retiring with 31 years of service with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.  My next career will be a full time farmer/rancher and the many “honey do” jobs that will come along.  This has been the toughest decision I have ever made.   It is tough to quit something that you have enjoyed many years.
Working with great people and organizations made the decision even more difficult, but I do look forward to being able to work on my farm, do some agriculture consulting and some volunteering with community groups.
I have enjoyed writing a weekly column that has been distributed to many newspapers in the East Texas area.  I hope I have provided educational information that has been beneficial to your home, farm and/or ranch.  Special thanks to the many news outlets that have regularly utilized my column.
I sincerely appreciate the support of the many volunteers that I have worked with in the counties I have served.  Our programs depend on volunteers to be successful. Your guidance in developing, conducting and evaluating programs is appreciated.
I also have to express my appreciation to the many Extension spets, researchers, company representatives, neighboring county agents and volunteers that have so willing given their time in presenting outstanding educational programs  that we have conducted.  Special Thanks to Judge Stoudt and each of the Gregg County Commissioners for their great support of the Extension program in Gregg County.  I have been fortunate to work with many great County Judges and Commissioners during my 31 years in the counties I have served.
I look forward to visiting with you at Extension meetings in the future.