Professor & Director of Sustainable Agriculture
Credentials: M.S., University of Arkansas- Fayetteville
Mrs. Rene’ McCracken is the Director of Agriculture at Northeast Texas Community College. She is married to Tim McCracken formerly of Kilgore, TX and they have three girls, Samantha, Claire, and Audrey. She began in her new position here in July 2012 with a move from Henderson, TX to Mt. Pleasant (Harts Bluff Area). Her family and her have a 40 acre stocker ranch that they plan to transition into a more sustainable farm including, gardens, poultry, orchard, cow-calf, custom fed steers, meat goats, and a fully stocked fish pond – “just for fun”. Mrs. McCracken was born and raised in Hallsville, TX where she graduated in 1988. She grew up on her family’s small farm surrounded by all the animals that she brought home to take care of including: horses, poultry of all kinds, a hawk, skunks, an owl, commercial pigs, rabbits, doves, a ferret, goats and the usual stray dogs and cats. “I always dreamed of being a veterinarian and spent most of my early childhood preparing for that” said McCracken. Later, she went to Stephen F. Austin University and majored in Animal Science with a poultry emphasis since she decided, “she didn’t want to neuter dogs and cats for a living”. She then received a full scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to get her Master’s degree in Poultry Science and began her career in the food industry. She served in various management roles for Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra Foods, and General Mills. In 2000, she and her husband made the decision for her to “retire” to raise their children and moved onto a 2000 acre commercial cow-calf operation in Kansas where “little house on the prairie” still existed. While there, the homesteading skills taught to her by her grandparents like gardening, canning, and even cooking homemade biscuits from scratch rekindled her enthusiasm and passion for the farming lifestyle. Her life took on another change when, the family moved back to Texas and she began working as an extension agent for Prairie View A&M University in Cherokee County. As an extension agent, she became known for her work with goats and emphasis on small farms and helping them to become more sustainable. Additionally, her husband Tim and her purchased and operated a retail feed store from 2007 to 2011. When she was approached with the opportunity to come to Mt. Pleasant and be a part of the NTCC Experience, she realized that her life and experiences were the perfect combination to prepare her to serve as the new Director of Agriculture for NTCC.