We are proud to have a man who represents five states and six veterinary schools throughout the nation as part of our family of graduates.
Porter grew up in Fort Stockton, Texas, working on a family owned sheep ranch. Growing up in the wool and mohair industry, he became acquainted with Dr. Gil Engdahl who convinced him that Angelo State would be a good institution where he could further his education. At ASU, Porter pursued an animal science degree and, while he was an undergraduate, served two years as a Block and Bridle officer, holding the positions of secretary and vice president. He was also a member of both the National Champion Wool and Mohair Judging Team and the Livestock Judging Team.
“ASU is a little smaller, but it has a tremendous ranch, which allows for hands-on learning,” Porter said. “ASU gave me a more hands-on education than a lot of other universities might be able to offer.”
Porter graduated from ASU in May 1984 and soon after was hired by Pfizer Animal Health. He transitioned to the American Sheep Industry for a short stint, which led him back into the pharmaceutical industry to work for Bayer Animal Health throughout Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. He then moved to his current position at Fort Dodge Animal Health, where he has been for the past 11 years. Porter said his education at ASU opened the door for his whole career in animal health.
“Without a bachelor’s degree in today’s world, a person wouldn’t even qualify for an interview,” Porter said.
In his spare time, Porter enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters as well as volunteering for several community organizations in and around New Braunfels. He is also the co-owner of a fundraising company geared toward helping youth organizations.
“Agriculture is currently in such a transition mode, a person must realize that the agricultural marketplace is not a Texas market or a national market, but it is an international, global market,” Porter said. “Agriculture is consolidating, meaning that the big corporations are getting bigger and the old home farm has some tremendous challenges ahead of it. Natural resources play an integral part in allowing some of these ranches to still operate. If it were just back to the agricultural products that they generate, it wouldn’t be economically feasible for them to stay in operation. When you look into an agricultural career, it’s important to be diversified and as open-minded as possible. Get as broad an education as you can, because you don’t know where the future will lead you.
“I want to encourage you to be optimistic, be truly passionate about what you do and don’t be just middle-of-the-road students,” he said. “You get out of your education what you put into it. People aren’t going to come and beg you to go to work for them. Pursue your passion and work hard.”
Porter said he thinks that if you don’t fully participate in the opportunities that are presented, your scope of the industry will be limited. He said he will always have a passion for ASU and will always respect the quality of people in West Texas, an area he calls home.