Russell Stevens has been recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Alumnus for the Angelo State University Department of Agriculture. He grew up on a cow-calf operation in south-central Oklahoma, near Overbrook, where when not having to do chores, he would hunt and fish along the creek. This is where his desire to pursue a career in range and wildlife management all started.
Mr. Stevens chose ASU because it was an unknown area to him and the first school to accept his application. He was involved in Block and Bridle and was one of the charter members and first President of the Rotaract Club under the supervision of Dr. Don Shelby. The Rotaract Club was the collegiate version of Rotary Club International and participated in volunteer activities for multiple events. Mr. Stevens graduated from Angelo State University in 1989 with a Master’s degree in Animal Science with a Range and Wildlife focus. He is currently the Manager of Strategic Consultation Efforts at the Noble Foundation and a wildlife and range consultant.
Russell takes an active role in his community by helping local schools and 4-H programs with their archery teams. He builds long bows and turkey box calls and donates them to various organizations and the clubs at schools to help them raise money. His passion is for archery and he loves to help kids, as well as adults learn about archery. He is also a devoted member in his church and when he can, loves to help out at local community events, county fairs and stock shows.
When it comes to the future of the agriculture industry, he strongly believes that technology is ever-important, and he feels we need a way to better communicate the message of agriculture to the general public so we can gain the support we need. He believes technology is going to be really critical for students entering the agriculture industry in the future, as far as research opportunities and feels that improved efficiency through technology and soil health will be a big factor in feeding an ever-growing population. He quotes, “we need to become more efficient with production in order to feed millions more people in the near future.”
Some of the ways Mr. Stevens said that ASU prepared him for his career was that Angelo State opened his eyes to several different aspects of real world agriculture and allowed him the exposure of being involved in many organizations. “It really broadened my horizons, and I got to see how everything is interrelated and connects in some way.” He values the experiences and the people most about his degree from ASU.
Mr. Stevens is a firm believer in getting your hands dirty. “There is no substitute for good hard work,” Stevens quoted. When asked what his advice was for current undergraduate and graduate students he replied, “never hesitate to go above and beyond; strive to accomplish what is asked of you, not just what you are told to do, and learn the art of listening.”