Casey Berley Paying It Forward
Casey Berley, broker at Hortenstine Ranch Company, is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University (Class of 1989) with a degree in Animal Science. Nearly 30 years later, while his daughter Madison (fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019) was attending Texas A&M University, Casey began to develop an overwhelming desire to give back to a great institution who gave so much to him and now to his daughter.
“My education within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences together with certain influential professors and successful industry professionals who invested in me have been keys to my success as an industry professional and person,” recalls Casey. “The persistent question within me was “how do I pay this forward?”
Casey’s received his answer when a mutual Aggie friend Mr. Doug Grady ‘71 introduced him to Dr. Ed Rister ‘74, professor at TAMU. Dr. Rister teaches the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program in the Department of Agriculture Economics (AGEC 424 and AGEC 425), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Casey recalls, “the Lord began to make it clear how I could give back to Texas A&M and pay the blessings that I had received forward to future generations of Aggies.”
Through Dr. Rister’s invitations, Casey was asked to serve by volunteering his time and sharing his professional experiences in an effort to assist entrepreneurship students as they develop small businesses during a two semester long course (AGEC 424 and 425). On various occasions during the semester, the students present their business plans to industry professionals (mentors) resulting in critique and constructive feedback for the student. The students make adjustments and modifications to their businesses through the semester and ultimately present their business plans in a large event held in April known as the Entrepreneurial Dreams Symposium. During the symposium, students receive additional counsel and are ultimately judged while competing for scholarships.
Casey comments, “I consider it a great honor and privilege to participate as a mentor and judge during the symposium. Through a simple investment of my time, the students inspire me, give me hope and demonstrate incredible dedication to making the world a better place! My entire family has been blessed with the opportunity to give back. We are proud to announce that in April of this year the Tamara and Casey S. Berley ’89 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Pass Through Scholarship will be awarded to a qualified student for their hard work, dedication to their purpose and demonstration of Aggie core values.”
Subsequently and separately, Casey had the honor of joining Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture Development Council (acronym COADC) in July of 2019. On two occasions during the academic year, COADC meetings are held where the TAMU College of Agriculture thoroughly informs former students and friends who serve on the council with regard to the college’s initiatives to promote itself, current and former students, agriculture, agribusiness, provide selected scholarships as well as recruit, educate and graduate students who will be as successful in the agriculture industry and in life as possible. COADC helps promote and support the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its students.
“Through these two efforts, I am humbly blessed to serve those Aggies who have and will graduate after me while paying it forward as those did who invested in me.” Casey Berley- ALC, Broker Associate, Hortenstine Ranch Company, TAMU Class of 1989