Deceased (Silver Taps)
Robert H. Kensing has been involved with Texas A&M for over 67 years. Originally from Kerr County, he served two years in the Army as a dental X-ray instructor in San Antonio, married Doris Whitworth from Kimble County in 1947, and ranched in the Hill Country during his earlier years.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics as a member of the Class of 1946, he accepted a job as the Extension farm management specialist in San Angelo. Later, he and his wife both earned master’s degrees from Texas A&M.
Mr. Kensing has said that “two faculty members nurtured my interest in agricultural economics and pecan culture: Ty Timm, who was the head of the Agricultural Economics Department, and Professor Fred R. Brison '21 with the Department of Horticultural Sciences." As a student he went beyond the required three hours of horticulture and took advanced pecan culture. This interest led to his making money budding and grafting pecans while in school and later working as an amateur horticulturist as a “pecan guy.”
For 26 years, Mr. Kensing was an economist with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service. In 1982, he was given the State Distinguished Service Award (Epsilon Sigma Phi – Texas Chapter).
After a chance meeting in 1972 with an insurance salesman from Lubbock who wanted to start a pecan orchard on land where he was raising Spanish goats, Mr. Kensing asked if he could puchase a pickup load: 15 nannies and a billy. With an inheritance of a Kimble County ranch from Mrs. Kensing’s family in 1984, the couple expanded their goat operation and developed an excellent reputation for full-blood Spanish goats. In 2006, they were into their 34th generation stemming from the original 15 nannies.
Successful in their respective careers, the couple focused on investing their earnings wisely. Mr. Kensing has stated that he had the “opportunity to work with a lot of good coworkers and the opportunity to make a lot of friends over a big part of the country.” Thus he and his wife chose to memorialize those mentors that had such a profound influence on their lives. They established a sizeable charitable gift annuity through the Texas A&M Foundation.
With memorials to Dr. Timm and Fred Brison, the annual distribution from these endowments will be used by the leadership in the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Horticultural Sciences to benefit students and faculty.
After retiring from Extension over 22 years ago, Mr. Kensing worked as president and executive vice president of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. The couple spent most of their working careers in San Angelo. Today, they live and ranch near Menard on two sections they purchased in 1991.