Black History Month: Meet Dr. Don Renchie

By: Stephanie Palmer Email
By: Stephanie Palmer Email

Dr. Don Renchie has blazed a trail through the field of Agriculture.

"I wouldn't call them accomplishments," said Dr. Renchie. "I would simply call them being successful, because you work hard."

Dr. Renchie is a testament to a lifetime of hard work. He is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Safety at Texas A&M University.

"I think one of the most significant accomplishments is being able to finish my doctorate degree at Texas A&M University," said Dr. Renchie.

The Bryan native was one of the first to walk the halls of the newly integrated Bryan High School, class of 1974. In fact, his freshman year, he was apart of a committee to help merge the local schools.

"Our responsibility was to demonstrate leadership, to bring us all together, to avoid some of problems and conflicts," said Dr. Renchie.

They also set the tone for the school's spirit.

"We did things like select the colors," said Dr. Renchie. "We used the same colors as the Cowboys and the name the Vikings because they were winning," said Dr. Renchie.

Dr. Renchie attributes the man he is today to a number of people.

"In my neighborhood, there were 13 teachers, 4 preachers and 4 military guys," said Dr. Renchie. "The expectation was very high."

His family roots run deep in the Brazos Valley, he is the fifth generation to pursue Agriculture.

"I went to Prairie View, which was a family tradition," said Dr. Renchie.

After college, Dr. Renchie worked for chemical companies, as well as for the Texas Department of Agriculture under then Commissioner Rick Perry. In 1990, he signed on to the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program or TALL.

"I was the second class, first African American," said Dr. Renchie.

He went on to pursue a doctorate degree at Texas A&M University, then lead a department.

"I am responsible for the entire Texas Safety Education program," said Dr. Renchie. "I spend the majority of my time, coordinating pesticide safety education activities with all 254 county agencies."

He also works with local youth, wherever he can.

"I probably find them at the barbershop or on the corner," said Dr. Renchie. "My service to the community is to make sure that each individual has a skill."

He encourages people to find jobs or even own a business.

"We are all Americans, that is the first thing," said Dr. Renchie. "Secondly, we are Texans. There's not much a Texan can't do either."

Dr. Renchie is also a family man. He and his wife have raised four girls and two boys.

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