Dr. Ernest Edwin Davis, 81, of College Station, passed away on Thursday, November 4, 2021.
Ernie Davis was born on June 4, 1940, in Brownwood, Texas, to his parents, Ed and Tylene Davis. As a young boy, he grew up on the family stock farm, where his love for livestock began. He was active in 4-H, Boy Scouts, and Church Youth Fellowship, and raised and exhibited steers and lambs in major livestock shows and fairs. In Boy Scouts, Ernie earned the rank of Eagle Scout with the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Palms. Ernie graduated from Brownwood high school in 1958, where he participated on the football and golf teams. After receiving his Bachelor's degree in Animal Husbandry from Oklahoma State University in 1962, he began his career as a Junior Assistant County Agent in Training in Comanche County, Texas. He then reported to Fort Hood, Texas, to serve his country as a commissioned Second Lieutenant in the US Army. After rising to position of Captain in the Army and completing his military commitment, he returned to the Texas Agricultural Extension Service as an Assistant County Agent in Jefferson County, Texas. In 1967, Ernie came to Texas A&M University as the Extensions Assistant in livestock marketing. During his time at Texas A&M, he earned his Master's in 1971 and his PhD in 1975, both in Agricultural Economics, from Texas A&M University. In 1972, he became the department's Extension Livestock Marketing Economist.
During his time at Texas A&M, Ernie had many accomplishments. He had appointments with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, providing him the flexibility to do more applied research to assist his county Extension programs. Significant among his accomplishments was the development in 1979 of a computerized system for marketing feeder cattle, CATTLEX. Ernie earned various awards for his work and dedication to the livestock industry, he received the Extension Superior Service Award in 1983 for the work done on CATTLEX; the Extension Superior Service Award in 1987 for the Pork Profit Program; Japan's Livestock Industry Promotion Corporation Visiting Professor Award in 1988; the Deputy Chancellor's Award in Excellence in 1989; the Texas A&M Former Students Association's Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in 1989; the American Agricultural Economics Association's Premier Forecaster Award in 1989-90; the Western Agricultural Economics Association's Outstanding Extension Programs Award in 1992; the Independent Cattlemen Association's Outstanding Leadership to Texas Livestock Industry award in 1995; the Livestock Marketing Information Center's Distinguished Service to the U.S. Livestock Industries and Leadership to the Center award in 1995; the Vice Chancellor's Award for Industry Support in 2000; the Texas A&M University System's Regents Fellow Award in 2000; and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers' Outstanding Service and Commitment to the Texas Livestock Industry award in 2004.
Although Ernie did not have an "official" teaching appointment, Ernie enjoyed working with and mentoring students while at Texas A&M. He served on numerous graduate student committees, and was a frequent guest lecturer in both graduate and undergraduate classes in the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Animal Science. When Ernie retired from the Texas A&M University system in 2004, he and his wife, Marilyn, established an endowed scholarship dedicated for students in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness.
Ernie stayed involved with his community, serving as President and Zone Chairman of the College Station Morning Lions Club, serving as Trustee for 14 years on the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation, and he had always been very involved with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He became a member of the show in 1991, he served All Breeds and International Committees, serving as Chairman, Junior Commercial Steer, and continued to serve as a Lifelong Member and Lifelong Director.
During his time with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Ernie was blessed to meet Marilyn. They married and enjoyed 24 beautiful years together. With four children, Elaine, Reed, Roger, and Ryan, Ernie was a family man by all accounts. He was also a Christian man, one who was a devoted follower of our Savior, Jesus Christ. After retirement, Marilyn and Ernie retired to Praha, Texas, and formed Mullberry Hill Cattle Ranch.
Ernie enjoyed ranching, hunting, playing golf, rodeos, and sports, especially his Aggie sports! He found joy in his work, especially working with and being a resource for ranchers across Texas. When he wasn't ranching or working with livestock, you could find Ernie sipping on a glass of Canadian Club whiskey.
Ernie will be missed by his wife, Marilyn Moore Davis; children, Elaine Davis Abshire and husband Ty Abshire, Edwin Reed Davis and wife Michele Davis, Roger Rabalais and wife Jennifer Rabalais, and Ryan Rabalais and wife Genny Rabalais. He will be sincerely missed by his loving grandchildren, Shea Sikes, Jonathan Abshire, Walker Davis, Aiden Davis, Will Rabalais, Kate Rabalais, and Samuel Rabalais; along with his siblings, James Allen Davis and David Abney.
Ernie is reunited in heaven with his parents, Ed and Tylene Davis; and parents-in-law, Howard "Red" and Marilyn Moore.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be mailed to the Department of Agricultural Economics, c/o Dona Chester, 600 John Kimbrough Blvd. Ste#214, College Station, TX 77843-2124. Checks should be made out to the Texas A&M Foundation and please designate gifts to the Dr. Ernest E. "Ernie" Davis '71 Endowed Scholarship in Agricultural Economics, Acct. no. 34687 in the memo line of the check. These funds will be used to support a student scholarship in memory of Ernie.
Memorial donations may also be made to St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, 712 Summit St. Schulenburg, Texas 78956, or Covenant Presbyterian Church, 220 Rock Prarie Rd. College Station, Texas 77845, in honor of Dr. Ernest Edwin Davis.