This year the department has chosen a San Angelo native as the outstanding alumnus, Benny Cox. Mr. Cox is the current Sheep Sales Manager for Producers Livestock Auction. In fact, Producers is the only place he has really worked since he was in high school in the late 60s. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1975 and continued working towards the career he has built at Producers.
Cox enjoyed his job in high school, and that played a part in his decision to attend Angelo State University. He wanted to continue working while furthering his education; so naturally, he became a ram. Mr. Cox began his career with Producers when a friend, who worked there for a summer, persuaded him to go get a job there as well. An added benefit to the job was that it fit in with his lifestyle as his father liked to farm and they owned some cattle.
Benny Cox considers himself a people person, and is very involved with his community outside of his work at the livestock auction. He began volunteering with the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo while he was still in college in 1973. He has also been of significant help in fundraising for the West Texas Boys Ranch as well as West Texas Rehab, was one of the original organizers of the Sonrisas Polo in the Park fundraiser, and worked on the United Way program for seven years. He also has been very involved in the sheep industry and was a part of Lamb Blast for years. One of his fundraising ventures that he is most proud of is a benefit, put on by Producers and a committee of other organizations and businesses, in 2011 and 2012 for 30 different volunteer fire departments in the local area following the devastating drought and wildfires in the state.
Cox is also a past president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association where he remains an active member and is an officer of the American Sheep Industry. Additionally, he served on the school board for Trinity Lutheran while his girls attended school and where they still attend church. Aside from his community involvement, Cox has ventures outside of his work in raising sheep and cattle.
When asked where he sees the agriculture industry going in the coming years Cox responded, “we are a very productive agricultural group of people and we do have a lot of obstacles to overcome”. He hopes that the government will work toward being more protective of our agriculture industry as there are many outside pressures. Along the lines of the governmental stand point, Cox is proud to be a part of a group that travels with the American Sheep Industry to Washington D.C. to, “let their voices be heard,” which he believes is their most important job in regards to legislation.
Cox believes that ASU prepared him for his career in the aspect that, “school is a good place to grow up.” He was also influenced by many professors whose hearts were in teaching and had a wealth of knowledge they were able to pass on to students. He feels great pride when he is able to say that he graduated from Angelo State, which is what he values most about his degree.
He would encourage current students and those entering the agriculture industry to, “expand your horizons in the business facet of education. If your heart is set on one specific field, that is important, but work hard on the business end because that is important as well. As you graduate from college you may not end up with a job related to your field, and the business will take you a long way in that profession.” When asked about what advice he would give young people, he responded, “Never stop studying. Study the world around you.”