ESSM Awards & Merits 2014 Former student Homer Sanchez receives USDA award Sixty-Fifth Annual Secretary’s Honor Awards Ceremony Homer Sanchez, Rangeland Management Specialist on the National Technology Development Team located in Fort Worth, was recently selected to receive the USDA’s most prestigious award, the Secretary of Agriculture’s USDA Honor Award for his work on Ecological Sites. Homer and other team members were recognized in Washington DC during the 65th Annual Secretary Honor Awards Ceremony on December 11, 2013. The team received the Secretary’s Honor Award for developing an interagency Ecological Site Manual and Handbook providing clear guidance and delivering training resulting in uniform implementation across scientific, agency and Department boundaries. Other Interagency Ecological Site Implementation Team members recognized are from US Forest Service, BLM, ARS, and from the University level. Homer, who has worked with USDA-NRCS for the past 37 years, announced his retirement and his last official date was on January 3, 2014. Homer and his family will now reside in Mason County, Texas on a permanent basis. Homer plans to become more involved in community activities and will continue to stay active in the conservation and reclamation efforts.