Dr. Rick Machen, Professor and Specialist in Animal & Natural Resource Management
The Department of Agriculture is proud to recognize Dr. Rick Machen as our 2012-2013 Outstanding Alumni. Dr. Machen now resides in Uvalde, Texas, but he is no stranger to the Concho Valley. He grew up just a short distance from San Angelo in Brady, Texas, where he spent time working on his grandfather’s farm. There, he raised sheep and farmed hay, wheat and oats. In his junior high years, Dr. Machen also had the opportunity to work on a ranch, and it was there that he became acquainted with Dr. Gil Engdahl, who encouraged him to attend Angelo State University and to pursue a degree in Agriculture.
During his college career, Dr. Machen was involved in Block and Bridle and was on both the wool and the livestock judging teams. He was, in fact, a proud member of the first Angelo State wool team to win the Denver Judging Contest. Like most students who attend ASU, he has fond memories of living in the dorms and interacting with friends in that setting. Dr. Machen also worked at the Management, Instruction, and Research Center (MIR) all four years that he attended ASU. He thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experience he received by working and taking classes at the MIR, and he graduated from ASU in 1981 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. Shortly after, he went on to receive his Master’s degree in Animal Science in 1984, and his PhD in Ruminant Nutrition in 1987, both from Texas A&M University.
After completing his formal education, Dr. Machen travelled a little further than he had expected to begin his career at the University of Florida. At this university, he served as an Assistant Professor and a research scientist. Though travelling allowed for great experience, he made his way back to the Lone Star State to extend his career in the Texas Agrilife Extension Service. Beginning in Fort Stockton and later moving to Uvalde, he contributed many years as a Livestock Specialist. Dr. Machen is currently a Professor and Specialist in Animal & Natural Resource Management. His career choices have allowed for many great opportunities and experiences, and he continues to enjoy teaching and spending time with his family in Uvalde, Texas.
As a proud alumnus of Angelo State University, Dr. Machen extends some words of wisdom to students. Foremost, he strongly encourages students to become involved in the university and the community at large. Participation in campus organizations, teams and in community events provide valuable experiences where skills and knowledge, as well as important relationships can be gained. Undoubtedly, maintaining a good grade point average is important. However, Dr. Machen stresses that some employers may value involvement in activities beyond the classroom to an even greater degree. He suggests that, in addition to being excellent résumé builders, work experience and internships are excellent ways that an individual can promote his prior knowledge of a certain field to a future employer.
Dr. Machen also views habits like attending church, providing community service, and developing relationships with others in those settings as positive ways to interact in the community. Further, he is adamant that participating on teams and in organizations at ASU allows students to develop leadership qualities, responsibility and organizational skills. Overall, in fact, Dr. Machen attributes much of his own development of personal management skills and a strong work ethic to such opportunities at Angelo State University.
Most assuredly, in Dr. Machen’s example, as well as in his advice, there is sound wisdom for us all. Many thanks for a well-blazed trail!