Rick Avery

Rick Avery, Ph.D., was appointed as director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in January 2022.

As director, Avery leads the largest cooperative extension service in the United States with an annual budget of $177 million and over 1,750 employees across 250 offices serving all 254 counties in Texas.

Avery has a long professional career in public service that includes serving as a policy advisor and assistant for U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and U.S. Rep. Greg Laughlin on Capitol Hill in the nation’s capital. He has also served as county relations officer for the Texas Association of Counties, and most recently, as deputy director of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments.

Prior to becoming agency director for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Avery served the agency for over two decades, first as an extension specialist, and then for ten years as director of the V.G. Young Institute of County Government.

Dr. Avery is a native Texan, born in Hall County and raised in the small rural community of Needville in south Fort Bend County. As a youth, he was involved in both 4-H and FFA clubs in Needville and participated in numerous livestock events in the county and surrounding areas. Avery earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Austin College in 1985. In 1988, he received a master’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University and went on to earn a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Texas A&M University while working full-time as an extension specialist.

Avery is married to Marcie Avery, his wife of 32 years. They reside in Bryan, TX.