Kendalia rancher, Jack Esser, and Kendall County Agrilife Extension Agent, Stephen Zoeller, were both recognized on October 8, 2009, in Beaumont, Texas, as the 2009 Grass Roots Award winners through the Texas Section Society for Range Management (TSSRM). Each year the TSSRM Grass Roots Awards honor four individuals in four different categories throughout the state of Texas.
Mr. Jack Esser was awarded as the “Friend of TSSRM” for his contributions to improving rangeland and his lifelong commitment to the preservation and sustainability of the land. His dedication to the land and his contributions to improving rangelands by implementing conservation practices such as prescribed grazing, livestock water development, brush management, prescribed fire, and cross fencing have made him stand out as one of the best. Mr. Esser lives on his ranch, which was started by his grandfather, Paul Esser, in 1893, and he has three grown children who have blessed him with four (and one on the way) grandchildren. His six-year-old granddaughter can already tell you which cow to keep and which one to cull - just another indication of Mr. Esser’s motivation and dedication to the ranch and land by instilling the knowledge he’s learned and what was passed to him by his father and grandfather on to the future generations.
Mr. Stephen Zoeller was awarded as the “Outstanding Agrilife Extension Agent” for his numerous hours of dedication and contributions to rangeland management through the many teachings, programs, and youth activities he has provided to Kendall County. The outreach Mr. Zoeller provides to his community has educated and provided valuable information to individuals to help sustain the rangelands of not only Kendall County, but for the state of Texas. Mr. Zoeller is very active with the youth and involves them in classroom and in-the-field experiences to develop their understanding and commitment to the rangelands and communities, both plant and animal, in Kendall County. He encourages participation in 4-H and Stock Shows and helps them excel with their dreams and goals. Mr. Zoeller resides in Kendall County on his ranch along with his wife, Cindy, and children, Emma, Mark, and Audrey.
The residents of Kendall County should be very proud and honored to have these two outstanding individuals representing the agricultural industry for them. For more information on the TSSRM and to read more on these award winners, you can visit the TSSRM website: http://texas.rangelands.org