COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Ed Smith was named sole finalist for Texas Cooperative Extension director by the Texas A&M University System board of regents. As finalist, Smith may be named director by the regents in 21 days.

“Dr. Smith brings tremendous experience to this position and is a well-respected leader in the agricultural community,” said Elsa Murano, the system’s vice chancellor of agriculture and life sciences. “He is a great champion of Extension and has been a valuable member of the Agriculture Program leadership team. I have no doubt he will make great contributions on behalf of our land-grant mission.”

Smith moved into the administration level of Extension about four years ago as associate director for agriculture and natural resource sciences. He has been with the agency for 30 years, joining as assistant agent in Gaines County in 1975. He also served as Extension agent for Terry County before becoming an Extension associate from 1980-81 and grain marketing and policy specialist 1982-87.

As an Extension economist, Smith’s specialty has been farm policy and its impact on American agriculture. He was named Distinguished Roy B. Davis Professor of Agricultural Cooperation in Texas A&M’s department of agriculture economics in 1988.

His bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics are from Texas A&M.

Smith has been interim director of Texas Cooperative Extension since July 2004.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com