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Texas Section ASABE Honors NRCS Engineers

By Quenna Terry, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist

The Texas Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) met in Wichita Falls in October for its 2019 annual meeting.  The ASABE Texas Section is one of the largest and most active sections in the U.S. who highlights the impact of agricultural engineering for natural resources, constituents and livelihoods in the state of Texas.

This year, the ASABE awarded Troy Headings, professional engineer for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Amarillo, as its Agricultural Engineer of the Year, and Jacob” Jake” Maenius, professional engineer for USDA-NRCS in Plainview, as the Brock Faulkner Young Professional Engineer of the Year.  Both awards are a prestigious honor given by the ASABE Texas Section which currently has 290 members in the state. Texas NRCS is proud to have these individuals as part of the state engineering team.

Headings is known to be a committed employee who cares about the people he works with and the work he performs.  He currently serves as a field engineer for 11 counties in the High Plains region aiding farmers, ranchers and field office personnel with engineering assistance for planning and implementing conservation practices.  He began his career in Victoria in 1986 with the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  In 1987, he transferred to Amarillo to work in the Texas Panhandle.

He graduated in 1985 from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering.

Heading’s outstanding work includes planning, designing, and assisting in the installation of agricultural waste management systems, conservation irrigation systems, livestock watering systems and erosion and flood control practices in partnership with agricultural producers.  He is responsible for conducting formal inspections and hazard classification reviews of 34 watershed dams constructed across two watersheds providing flood control benefits to local soil and water conservation districts and county governments.

Throughout Heading’s 33-year career, he has served on numerous committees and received many certificates of merit awards.  He’s provided leadership among his peers and devoted his work in helping protect and conserve valuable natural resources through the installation of sound engineering practices on private lands in Texas.

Jacob (Jake) Maenius was named the 2019 Brock Faulkner Texas Section ASABE Young Engineer of the Year award for the excellent engineering work he has performed.

Maenius earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University in May 2012.  While he was attending college, Maenius worked summers as an NRCS engineering intern.  He started his full-time career with NRCS in 2012 in San Angelo, and he currently works as a Field Engineer in the USDA Plainview Service Center assisting eight NRCS field offices.

Maenius serves one of the largest engineering workloads in the state that includes animal waste management (beef feed-yards and dairies), irrigation system improvements (sprinkler and sub-surface drip irrigation) and erosion control practices.

Besides his daily responsibilities, Maenius has provided extra effort in participating on the State Engineering New Products Team, and he was the lead organizer for the Texas NRCS All-Engineering meeting earlier this year.  In the past couple of years, he volunteered for a detail for three months in central Texas to be a government representative (GR) and construction inspector on several NRCS Watershed Dam Rehabilitation projects. 

Maenius has also shared his strengths in mentoring and training newly hired agricultural engineers on the zone engineering team.

He has been credited by the zone engineer for his professionalism in working with NRCS clientele, his knowledge of NRCS engineering practices, and his incredible dedication to conservation.

Texas Section ASABE Honors NRCS Engineers, By Quenna Terry, USDA-NRCS public affairs specialist, (2019, Oct)