Research, education and outreach are the main goals of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and in 2001 the Beaumont/Eagle Lake Center launched a communications program that greatly enhances fulfillment of these objectives. The following summarizes activities and programs directed at farmers, political officials, students, scientists and consumers.

One of the most important aspects of our communication outreach is our Texas Rice newsletter. Texas Rice is a 12 to 16-page, full color newsletter that focuses on the Texas rice industry. Published 9 times a year from the Beaumont Center, the newsletter includes research profiles; grower interviews; rice physiology articles; historical highlights; insect overviews; crop updates; networking leads; marketing information; and current news in rice. The mailing list contains over 1000 recipients, including hard copy and e-mail. Funding for Texas Rice is generously being provided by our rice producers through the Texas Rice Research Foundation

In addition to the newsletter, the Communications Project offers tours of the Beaumont facility by appointment. Guests have included 4-H kids, high school science teachers, industry representatives, government officials, interested consumers, farmers and visiting scientists. Foreign dignitaries and scientists visiting the Center have traveled from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Cote D’Ivoire, Indonesia, Japan, Mali, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, and Vietnam. These tours are very effective for increasing awareness of the research being conducted by TAES and USDA rice scientists.

We also participate in career days and recruitment seminars every spring at area schools. The career days are an excellent opportunity to expose young people to the careers that are available in agriculture. The recruitment seminars are conducted with the express purpose of identifying intelligent, highly motivated students to fill summer positions at the Center.

Community outreach is a year-round endeavor with programs presented to area garden clubs, civic associations, Chambers of Commerce and church groups. Our Communications Specialist has presented lectures on a wide range of topics, including the economic impact of agriculture in Southeast Texas,  rice industry issues, careers in agriculture and organic production.

For more information on any of these topics contact Jay Cockrell at 409-752-2741 ext 2272 or email