Currently Ellis serves as the Rangeland Management Specialist for the Central National Technology Support Center of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The ASU Department of Agriculture is proud of Ellis’ quick climb up the career ladder and honored to call him an ASU Alumnus.
Although Ellis did not start out at Angelo State University, he came here to pursue his Master’s degree in Range Management after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management from Sul Ross State University.
Ellis said, “I had other opportunities to go to other graduate schools, but I felt that Angelo State was the right choice for me.”
Coming from the small-town atmosphere of Lohn, Texas where he graduated in a class of four people, Ellis felt that the smaller, more personal atmosphere of Angelo State would complement his personality. While enrolled at ASU, much of his spare time was spent volunteering in conservation efforts and surrounding ranches in the area. He also was employed by Texas Parks and Wildlife as a student.
After graduating from Angelo State, Ellis went to work here in San Angelo for the NRCS as a Rangeland Management Specialist. Two years later, he was promoted to District Conservationist in Brackettville, Texas. Then soon after, he became a Team Resource Leader for three counties, overseeing six employees and 15 million acres in the Alpine, Texas area. Later Ellis was promoted to State Rangeland Specialist for the state of Florida. From Florida, Ellis was promoted to his current position as Regional Rangeland Management Specialist.
His progression hasn’t been easy through the many positions he has held. Ellis said some of the issues he currently encounters include water rights, usage, quality, and quantity, as well as the issue of industrialization of agriculture, trend toward larger farms, in which smaller farms are being bought out by larger farms at a rapid rate.
Through the many challenges he faces daily, Ellis maintains a positive outlook on his professional and personal life as a whole. “I go to work every day and enjoy going to work every day, and that’s what it’s about.”
Ellis’s advice to current students pertaining to a successful future includes three principles. First, “know yourself; know what you think, know what you think you know, and know what you don’t know.” Second, “communicate; listen with your ears, eyes, and heart.” Third, “Work with imagination and enthusiasm.”
The Department of Agriculture values the support and enthusiasm that Ellis continues to reflect upon the University and it is an honor to recognize him as our Outstanding Alumnus for this year. Ellis believes that his experience at Angelo State is a gift that keeps on giving as it provided him the ability to learn and lead, which has helped him in his career, his marriage, and as a parent.