By: Kay Ledbetter
State photographer Wyman Meinzer has been selected as the keynote speaker for the Bennett Trust Land Stewardship educational program, “Protecting the Legacy of the Edwards Plateau,” to be hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service April 23-25 in Kerrville.
“You do not want to miss this unique opportunity to hear the state photographer of Texas relate the history and legacy of the Edwards Plateau in a pictorial fashion unlike any other,” said Dr. Rick Machen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist and event co-planner from Uvalde.
“Legacies are formed in all walks of life – history, nature, sports, communities and families,” Machen said. “Every region of Texas has them – from the Panhandle to Gulf Coast and Pineywoods to the Trans-Pecos. Every region is unique. No two share the same legacy. Meinzer will bring the legacy of the Edwards Plateau and Texas Hill Country to life.
“When it comes to Texas natural resources and breathtaking beauty, few have experienced them like Meinzer. With more than 250 magazine covers and 17 photography books to his credit, we could think of none better than Wyman for this task. The pictures will wow you. And when you grow up in Benjamin, Texas, storytelling is second nature.”
In his blog, http://wymanmeinzer.wordpress.com, Meinzer said, “I believe that in knowing our past is to better understand the present and perhaps foresee, to some extent, our path into the future.”
The event at the Inn of the Hills Resort and Conference Center, 1001 Junction Highway, Kerrville, is designed to “bring the best and wisest, accomplished stewards, visionaries and legacy-leavers together as educators,” according to organizers.
Registration prior to March 23 will be $75, and $95 thereafter. Registration can be completed at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ or by going tohttp://bennetttrust.tamu.edu, selecting the “Events” tab and choosing either of two links on the page. A conference rate of $99 per night will be available at the Inn of the Hills Resort and Conference Center until March 23.
Co-planners Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension state forage and Bennett Extension specialist in College Station, and Machen said the first day will include discussions on recognition and management of encroaching plants, native tree health and care, water as wealth, managing competition between wild and domestic herbivores, estate planning and elder law.
On April 24, conference attendees can take one of three behind-the-scenes tours.
Tour A, centered on natural resource stewardship, includes a visit to the historic Hillingdon Ranch in Kendall County, with a pasture walk and demonstration of various types of equipment used for brush management and how live oak wilt is combated.
Tour B visits sustainable vineyards, orchards and gardens in Fredericksburg and Gillespie County to provide a glimpse of essential elements for land stewardship success.
Tour C will highlight wildlife management and the hunting industry in the Edwards Plateau, featuring landowners with a reputation for being good stewards of their wildlife resources.
“The final day of the event will feature insight into keeping a legacy alive by focusing on protection from wildfire and how to use prescribed fire to enhance both livestock and wildlife habitat,” Redmon said.
In addition, vendors and exhibitors will be available for participants to visit with throughout the event.
More information on the Bennett Trust, established through a posthumous endowment provided by Eskel and Ruth Bennett to AgriLife Extension, can be found at http://bennetttrust.tamu.edu/.